Special to The Flash
STEPHENVILLE (May 1, 2017) – Tarleton made a statement closing out the regular season and sent the seniors out in style with a pair of one-sided wins in a doubleheader sweep over Cameron at the Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex. The Texans finished the regular season with a 28-20 record and put themselves in position to play in the Lone Star Conference tournament with an 11-12 league record.
“The kids came out and did a tremendous job of getting after it this weekend,” said head coach Bryan Conger. “The seniors led the way and really did a nice job of competing one pitch at a time and grinding through these games.”
Tarleton posted a season-high 17 runs on 15 hits in a rout over Cameron in the opener. Five Texans had multi-hit performances at the plate and Evan Pontley recorded his sixth win of the season.
The Texans scored a pair of runs in the first with Francisco Rodriguez leading off the game with a triple to right field and Austin Call drove him home in the next at-bat with a single up the middle. Ben Mauseth was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for the second run and a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth, the Texans pounded out five hits that scored four runs. Call had another RBI single, Hasbrouck drove home two with a single up the middle and Mauseth tripled to right to score Hasbrouck. It was 8-0 after four, but the Texans were far from finished.
Meanwhile, on the mound, Pontley posted zeroes on the board through his first four innings of work. The Aggies did manage a pair of runs in the fifth, but Pontley got out of the inning and finished the day with five innings pitched and five strikeouts.
Everything went Tarleton’s way in the sixth inning where they scored nine runs to blow the game open. The Texans only had four hits in the inning, but with the bases loaded for most of the inning, Cameron hit four Texan batters and walked three that scored seven of the nine runs.
Francisco Rodriguez led all hitters with a 3-for-4 afternoon at the plate with two runs and an RBI. Austin Call (2-for-4, two RBI), Dylan Lemons (2-for-4, RBI), Jake Hasbrouck (2-for-2, two RBI) and Ben Masueth (2-for-4, game-high three RBI) all had multi-hit games. Blake Adams, Luis Rivas, Trevor Inman and Jose Reyes also had hits in the game.
Game 2: Tarleton 5, Cameron 0
Tarleton’s big first inning was the difference in the game, followed by three pitches – and a pair of seniors – combining to throw a shutout in the regular season finale.
Like he did in the first game, Francisco Rodriguez led off with a triple, this time to center field to get the offense rolling. Rodriguez would later score on an error by the Cameron pitcher. Later in the inning, Dylan Lemons ripped a double to center that scored Austin Call to go up 2-0. Jon Tauzin worked a bases loaded walk for a run and Jose Reyes followed with an RBI single to give the Texans a 4-0 lead.
Senior left-hander Will Blanchard got the start for Tarleton and threw three innings of two-hit ball and struck out two. Blanchard never allowed a runner past second in his start and used the wind blowing in to his advantage, causing Cameron to pop up for six of the nine outs.
Matt Herrick relieved Blanchard in the fourth and tossed 2.2 innings without allowing a hit and struck out three. Herrick got the win in the game, improving to 4-1 on the year.
Tarleton added a run in the sixth inning after Ben Mauseth and Hunter Seales singled to set up runners at the corners and one out. Reyes had a sacrifice fly to center that scored Mauseth and gave the Texans a 5-0, which would hold throughout.
Senior Hunter Houston came on to record the final four outs of the game and did just that while keeping the shutout intact. Houston only gave up one hit and struck out two, including the final batter of the game.
Mauseth had the only two-hit game for Tarleton, going 2-for-3 at the plate with a run. Reyes led the Texans with two RBI.
The Lone Star Conference tournament will be held May 11-13 at the site of the regular season champion. Tarleton’s bye week is the final week of the regular season, so the Texans, who are in fourth place in the LSC, will have to wait until after next week to see the postseason scenarios.