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Cross fires three-hitter, escapes jam in last inning

Rams earn split with 6-4 triumph in Game Two

Victory ends 27-game losing streak against Wesleyan

Box Scores (links below)

FORT WORTH, Texas  --  Jeremy Cross (Americus, Ga / Harker Heights HS, U. of Dallas) pitched a complete game three-hitter and Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS) drove in the tie-breaking run in the fifth inning to lead Southwestern Assemblies of God University to a 3-2 victory over #20 ranked Texas Wesleyan University on Tuesday at LaGrave Field.

The win snapped a 27-game losing streak to the Rams, who led the all-time series against the Lions, 32-3, entering the doubleheader.

Wesleyan earned a split of the twinbill when they took the nightcap, 6-4. The Rams scored three in the bottom of the fifth to overcome a 4-3 deficit. 

SAGU is now 10-12 overall and 1-4 in the Sooner Athletic Conference. Wesleyan is 10-8 and 3-1 in the SAC.

The series finale is Friday on the SAGU campus field at 2:00pm. Jarrod Pisors (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS ) will take the mound for the Pride.

"The win had a surreal feeling to it," stated Denton, a senior catcher. "Wesleyan has had our number for the three years that I've played against them. It felt good to finally get one against a very solid team."

"Jeremy was able to dominate and the defense was solid behind him," he added. "He (Cross) was able to use his 2-seam fastball against right-handed hitters and his curveball kept them off-balance."

"He had great control over both pitches and only gave up a few hits and just two runs to a very good team," Denton summarized.

Cross got into trouble in the second when he walked the bases loaded. With two outs, second baseman Jonathan Bravo doubled to left-centerfield to give the Rams a 2-0 lead.

He settled down to retire the next seven batters, the first four on ground balls.

In the fifth he yielded a single and an intentional walk before getting the Rams’ clean-up batter on a hopper to Clay Gentle (Fredericksburg, Tx / Fredericksbrg HS ) at third.

The sixth went quickly. Sandwiched between grounders to third and first, Cross struck out the middle batter swinging.

Nursing the narrowest of margins, the senior left-hander took the hill to finish the job in the seventh.

After sitting down a pinch-hitter, shortstop Preston Hornbeck (McKinney, Tx / Heston JC ) made his first error of the season (21st game). Bravo singled through the left side of the infield.santiago-slide-lagrave

Cross bore down. Hornbeck fielded a smash to get the next out at second.

With runners on the corners and two outs, Cross coaxed Jake Howeth to lift a 2-1 pitch that centerfielder Brock Schneider (Arlington, Tx / Martin HS ) gloved to seal the deal.

Trailing 2-0, the Lions knotted the score in the fourth thanks to a hit batter, an RBI single and two errors by the Rams’ second baseman.

Denton started the rally when he was plunked with a pitch. Collin Gifford (Dodge City, Ks / Dodge City HS)  entered to run for Denton. Two fielder’s choices brought Dej (pronounced DEEDJ) Mathis (Wister, Ok / Wister HS, Bacone College ) to plate.

The brawny catcher jumped on the first pitch, driving it to rightfield to score Gifford. Jonathan Santiago (Arlington, Tx / Bowie HS ) poked a hot shot to shortstop to force Mathis, but a throwing allowed Eric Hagstrom (Universal City, Tx / Lubbock Chr ) to race home.

Team Purple took the lead for good in the next inning.

Josh Terry (Daingerfield, Tx / Daingerfield HS ) led off with a single to left before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hornbeck. He darted to third on a fielder’s choice, and then crossed the dish on a Denton grounder.

SAGU collected only four hits in the game, the last two coming in the top of the seventh. Bryant Threadgill (Whitewright, Tx/Whitewright HS, Dallas Chr ) ripped a single to center and Hornbeck punched a 1-1 offering through the left side. The scoring threat ended without adding to the run column.

In the second game the Lions rallied to a take a 4-3 lead with a four run fifth inning before Wesleyan regrouped for a 6-4 victory.

The Rams countered with three in the bottom of the inning on a RBI single and a two-run double down the leftfield line.

Lefty Pedro Ortiz (Lorena, Tx / Lorena HS ) took the loss. Now 1-4, he permitted just six hits while walking two and strucking out three. Errors led to a pair of unearned runs, which happened to be the margin of defeat.

Hornbeck paced the Lions with a 2-for-4 effort. He drove in two runs with a single to centerfield. Later he scampered home for the lead run on a passed ball.

Gentle, Santiago and Brendan Martinez (Ft. Worth, Tx / Timber Creek HS ) each added base hits.

After the series finale on Friday the Lions return to the diamond next week with a Tuesday game at McMurry University. The NCAA Division II Warhawks are 5-12.

Fans can follow the game on LiveStats or watch on livestream video at: http://www.mcmurrysports.com/schedule.aspx?path=baseball&

The action (9 inning solo game) will take place at Walt Driggers Field in Abilene, approximately 190 miles west of Waxahachie.

Contact: Mark "Link" Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 469-658-2847.

Special Thanks to TWU Athletics Photographer, Little Joe Valdez, for the photos.

Box Scores:  http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/TeamSchedule.aspx?association=10&sg=MBA&sea=NAIMBA_2014&conference=NAIMBA1_SAC&team=1778 

Click on the underlined score to view the statistics from that individual game.


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