Mathis goes 'yard,' but Lions fall at McMurry
Castro, Schneider, Martinez add hits in road loss
Team prepares for key series the next two weekends
Current Standings: http://www.soonerathletic.org/
ABILENE, Texas -- Dej Mathis (Wister, Ok / Wister HS, Bacone College ) crushed a towering home run over the leftfield wall but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team from losing 12-1 to McMurry University on Tuesday night.
“Dej (pronounced DEEDG) got all of it,” said Head Coach Sam Blackmon. “But we didn’t have much go our way tonight.”
“We made some uncharacteristic errors and gave up some big hits, but our guys battled and benefitted from the experience,” he added. “We’re young and we’re getting there.”
Mathis, a six-foot junior, came into the game as a pinch hitter. The stout lumberjack of a first baseman ‘dialed 9’ for long distance, a shot that sailed far beyond the barrier at Walt Driggers Field.
The Lions slipped to 10-14 overall with the non-conference setback to the NCAA Division II War Hawks. McM is 6-12.
The game was played in windy conditions with temperatures in the 90’s.
McMurry’s Trevor Daggon, a 6’4 lefthander, went the distance for the victory. Normally a reliever, the senior scattered four hits, walked just one and fanned two.
The Californian retired a dozen Lions on grounders, six on fly balls and two on strikes.
SAGU collected singles in the second, third and sixth innings before Mathis hit one that was deep and unplayable.
Raul Castro (Garland, Tx / Hillsdale College ) ripped a smash to center for the club’s first hit. Brock Schneider (Arlington, Tx / Martin HS ) lined a single to left to lead off the third frame. He was thrown out by Hawks catcher Greg Koll in an attempt to swipe second base.
SAGU catcher Brendan Martinez (Ft. Worth, Tx / Timber Creek HS ) started the seventh with an infield single that was too hot to handle for the McMurry third baseman.
Preston Hornbeck (McKinney, Tx / Heston JC ) laid down a sacrifice bunt to third to move Martinez into scoring position. The rally fizzled after a fly out to right by Clay Gentle (Fredericksburg, Tx / Fredericksbrg HS ) and a strike out by Jared Denton (Mission, Tx / Sharyland HS ).
Mathis cranked the team’s second HR of the season with one out in the seventh. Denton has the other. The pitching staff has yielded six.
Sophomore righthander Hayden Killebrew (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS ) got the start, his third. He went three innings, allowing seven hits, seven runs, six of them earned. He walked one batter. Killebrew is now 1-1.
Tucker Burt (N.Richland Hills, Tx / Westlake Academy ), a 6’5 freshman, found the War Hawks just as tough. He tossed two and one third innings, surrendering five hits, four runs; all earned, while walking a pair and fanning one. Burt remains second on the team in strike outs with 19.
The final two thirds of an inning were hurled by Castro. He was touched for two hits, two walks and one (earned) run.
All totaled, McMurry banged 14 hits, eight of them for extra bases. The Lions committed four errors, including two in the outfield.
The Lions are at the midway point in their 48-game season. A year ago the team was also 10-13 at this point in the campaign.
They will return to the diamond this weekend for a three-game series at Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City.
Set for March 14-15, the teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader, starting at 2:00pm on Friday. They are slated to play a nine-inning contest at 1:00pm on Saturday.
No announcement has been made regarding the pitching rotation. The likely starters are Jarrod Pisors (Red Oak, Tx / Red Oak HS ), Pedro “Tres” Ortiz (Lorena, Tx / Lorena HS ) and Jeremy Cross (Americus, Ga / Harker Heights HS, U. Dallas ).
SAGU and MACU are close in the Sooner Athletic Conference standings, adding importance to the matchup. The Evangels are 4-11 overall and 2-4 in the SAC.
The Lions return home on March 21-22 when Southwestern Christian University (4-17 / 0-6 in SAC) visit for three games at the Waxahachie Sports Complex.
Click on the underlined score to view the box score or player and team statistics.
Current Player Stats: http://www.dakstats.com/WebSync/Pages/Team/IndividualStats.aspx?association=10&sg=MBA&sea=NAIMBA_2014&conference=NAIMBA1_SAC&team=1778