Baseball Update: Lions now 9-7
SAGU plays a single game today at Jarvis
Team split four-game weekend series in Austin
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- After completing back-to-back weekend four-game splits against Wiley College and Huston Tillotson University, splitting both, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team, now 9-7, continues to make progress.
The Lions have their final tune-up this afternoon in East Texas when they play Jarvis Christian College (2-5) in one, nine-inning game. Weather could be a factor.
According to Pitching Coach Chris Semprun, the Lions will approach the game with a "pitching by committee" plan. The idea is to have four or five hurlers play. It provides experience while simultaneously saving the starters for next weekend.
Sophomore righthander Bryant Threadgill (Whitewright, Tx / Whitewright HS, Dallas Christian College) will start against the Bulldogs (2-5). He has yet to record a decision though his earned run average is solid at 1.93.
Over the weekend the team travelled to Austin to meet HTU in a pair of doubleheaders. The Lions could have easily swept the series.
“Collectively, said Head Coach Sam Blackmon, “we played well in all four games defensively, pitching and offensively.”
“But we missed a few opportunities at the plate. The guys hit balls well, they just didn't find holes.”
The Lions outhit the Rams in the series, 35-29, but stranded too many runners (25).
“Our pitchers threw well again,” he added, “and defensively, we were sound for the weekend.”
The team combined to commit five errors in the four games, though the host Rams made just one.
“All in all, I was pleased with the effort we showed.” The 165-mile trip was the team’s first action on the road.
Next weekend is the start of the league season as new members in the Sooner Athletic Conference. The Lions play host to three games versus Wayland Baptist University.
The Pioneers are currently 10-6. Last spring they went 20-35.
Here is a quick summary of the four games against HTU:
GAME ONE: HTU 3-2
A late rally fell short in the opener. Trailing 3-0 at the top of the seventh, the Lions scored twice on a hit by shortstop Preston Hornbeck (McKinney, Tx / Heston JC ).
The team collected nine hits, two apiece from Hornbeck and Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS ). Eight runners were left stranded.
Pedro “Tres” Ortiz (Lorena, Tx / Lorena HS ) took the loss. Now 1-3, he went six innings, allowing eight hits. He struck out one and did not issue a walk. All three runs were earned.
GAME TWO: SAGU 8-2
Jeremy Cross (Americus, Ga / Harker Heights HS, U. Dallas) yielded two early runs before shutting out the Bulldogs over the final six innings. The lefthander scattered eight hits and struck-out four.
Cross kept the Rams off-balance with a mix of pitches. He retired 18 of 21 batters in the infield. The victory was his first collegiate win.
Eric Hagstrom (Universal City, Tx / Lubbock Chr ) and Jonathan Santiago (Arlington, Tx / Bowie HS ) led the attack, each with two hits and two runs scored. Hagstrom powered a pair of doubles while ‘Santi’ (SAHN-tee) had one.
Hornbeck added a two-bagger and drove in two runs.
The Lions tied the game with two in the third and took control with a three-spot in the fourth. They added a solo tally in the sixth, then provided the final margin with two more in the top of the seventh.
GAME THREE: SAGU 4-1
Sophomore Jarrod Pisors (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS ) fired a five-hit, complete game in the first game of Saturday twinbill at historic Downs Field. He whiffed six and didn’t walk anyone.
He outlasted his Rams counterpart. Both battled through the first six innings knotted at a run apiece. SAGU won by scoring three times in the top of the seventh.
Four players registered two hits apiece; Hornbeck, Clay Gentle (Fredericksburg, Tx / Fredericksbrg HS ), Raul Castro (Garland, Tx / Hillsdale College ) and Nick Sheffield (Maypearl, Tx / Maypearl HS ).
Castro knocked in a run with a triple while a double by 'Chef' drove in another.
GAME FOUR: HTU 5-2
Deserving a better fate, freshman Tucker Burt (North Richland Hls, Tx / Westlake Academy ) lost a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth when Tillotson pushed four runs across the plate in a 5-2 defeat.
Two infield errors led to four unearned runs to counter a solid effort from the strong-armed righty, now 2-2.
Burt was touched for six hits; four of them singles. He walked one and fanned one. Brendan Martinez (Ft. Worth, Tx / Timber Creek HS ) tossed the final one inning and one third.
The Lions were credited with six hits, five of them by two players; Lance Marks (Nevada, Tx / Community HS, Central Christian College (Ks) ) went 3-for-3 and Santiago had two hits in three trips to the plate.
The only other hit came off the bat of Denton.
SAGU scored single runs in the fourth and fifth by Hagstrom and Gentle. Castro was credited with the Lions lone RBI, when he knocked in Gentle, who had gotten on base on a walk.
Click on the underlined score to view the box score of all Lions games. If there is a split blue box icon on the right, click there to access the play-by-play of the game.