Lions win, 7-4: Tres Magnifique!
Freshman lefty, Ortiz leads SAGU to series-winning triumph
Terry caps big weekend with four hit showing
Coach Blackmon summarizes the entire weekend series
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WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Southwestern Assemblies of God University rode a solid pitching effort of Pedro “Tres” Ortiz (Lorena, Tx / Lorena HS) and made the most of a 12-hit attack, all singles, to defeat St. Gregory’s University, 7-4, on Saturday.
The win earned SAGU the series, two-games-to-one. In fact, the young Lions have now won three of the last four series.
Ortiz (3-6) picked up his second straight win by tossing eight and one third innings, spreading 11 hits. Four runs, three of them earned, were charged to the freshman.
The third Pedro Ortiz in succession in his family draws the “Tres” moniker, walked two and struck out two.
He had very good control of his pitches, varying speeds while rendering the St. Greg’s attack unsteady. He surrendered nine singles and two RBI doubles.
Sophomore closer Raul Castro (Garland, Tx / Berkner HS, Hillsdale College) was summoned in the ninth when Ortiz got into a one-out, bases loaded jam.
Facing the Cavs’ No. 2 and No. 3 batters, each hitting well over .300, he merited a save – his third - by retiring them both on grounders to first and shortstop.
It capped a well-pitched effort that saw 19 of the 27 outs made by the infield, two on strike outs and the remaining six on flies; two to each outfielder.
First baseman Bryant Threadgill (Whitewright, Tx / Whitewright HS, Dallas Christian College) had 15 put-outs.
Ortiz threw 118 pitches in his fourth complete game of the season. The infield, who turned six double plays during the weekend, supported Ortiz with a pair of twin-killings.
SAGU scored in six of eight innings, the same number of times the team put the leadoff batter on base.
The player often fueling the Pride was freshman Josh Terry (Daingerfield, Tx / Daingerfield HS). He went 4-for-5, scored three times and drove in two. Over the past four games the stout Terry has racked up 10 hits in 17 trips to the plate (.588).
He opened the game by rapping a hit up the middle, then advancing to second on a Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS) single. A double steal moved them both into scoring position. Terry dashed home when Threadgill went the opposite way with a hopper to second.
The Lions added two in the second and another tally for a 4-0 lead through the third. By producing a score in each of the first five innings the margin grew to 6-1.
Preston Hornbeck (McKinney, Tx / McKinney HS, Hesston College) singled to left and Jonathan Santiago (Arlington, Tx / Bowie HS) beat out an infield hit to jumpstart the second. The former scored on an error with the latter racing home on a flair to left-center by Terry.
Threadgill tallied the fourth run in the next frame. After getting on base thanks to an error, he progressed to second on another miscue and scored when Santiago poked an RBI hit to shallow center.
Threadgill, a smooth swinging, 6-foot-3 sophomore from north of McKinney, Texas, drove in Terry with a base-knock to left-center in the fourth.
Terry lined an RBI shot to center that allowed Santiago to skip past the dish an inning later.
The Cavaliers drew to within 6-3 with solo runs in the sixth and eighth.
SAGU countered when Terry swatted a single down the leftfield line. He eventually scored the seventh run on shortstop Adrian Soltero’s second error.
Santiago contributed three hits and scored twice while Denton added two hits. Threadgill registered two RBI.
“Tres did a great job of keeping the ball down and locating pitches,” Head Coach Sam Blackmon said after the game. “He kept their hitters off balance.”
“Turning a few double plays and having Terry, Denton and Santiago produce multiple hit games was important.”
He praised the team for fighting to put lead-off men on base and then manufacturing runs throughout the afternoon.
“Today was about ‘small ball,’” he added. “We have been working on different scenarios in practice. Our guys did a great job of executing and making adjustments today.”
He was pleased at the continued development of the team. Bouncing back from losing Friday’s second game, in which the Lions surrendered a 7-4 lead in the last inning, revealed the kind of heart that strengthens his belief in the club.
“We really needed this win today,” he pointed out. “Collectively, we played great defense all weekend. It played a big role in us winning the series.”
“I think our guys brought a great approach to the plate. They really did a good job of executing situations.”
“For the most part,” he continued, “we pitched well. (Jarrod) Pisors and Ortiz had great outings.”
SAGU elevated their overall record to 17-20. Against competition in the Sooner Athletic Conference the Lions are 8-10.
Eight-of-final-eleven games will be played in Waxahachie
Over the next three weeks Lions have three big league series remaining; No. 10 ranked Oklahoma City University (25-11 record), No. 2 Oklahoma Baptist University (32-6) and Northwood University (22-17), the last two series at home.
Prior to those nine games is a home doubleheader on Tuesday, April 8, versus Ecclesia College (Ark). The Royals are 22-16.
Last year the Lions dropped three-of-four games to the Royals. After taking the opener, 11-9, SAGU fell 10-8, 4-3 and 11-6.
Ecclesia (ECK-less-SEE-ya) has an 11-game winning streak.
They swept Crowley’s Ridge College (Ark) (NCCAA) over the weekend; 3-0, 9-0, 16-9 and 10-0. Earlier in the week they did the same against Rust College (NCAA D III) (Miss); 1-0, 8-0, 17-1 and 12-0.
The week before they took three from Lincoln Christian University (Ill) (NCCAA); 1-0, 11-1 and 16-0.
The two games will be played at the Waxahachie Sports Complex, starting with a 4:00pm first pitch.
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