Special to The Flash Today
STEPHENVILLE – Senior Evan Pontley threw a career-high 8.1 innings and earned his fourth win of the season as Tarleton defeated Hardin-Simmons 6-4 at Hunter Field in Abilene Friday night.
Pontley made his first attempt at a nine-inning complete game by going into the ninth inning for the first time in his career. The senior recorded one out in the ninth before giving way to Eddie Avila, who struck out the final two batters of the game for his fourth save of the season. Avila becomes the fifth Texan in program history with at least 10 career saves and is now one save away from tying Hunter Houston for fourth most all-time.
Pontley allowed four runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out six. Avila struck out the only two batters he faced.
Meanwhile, the Tarleton offense got the scoring started in the fourth inning when Francisco Rodriguez led the inning off with a single to left. After a sacrifice bunt and a single set the Texans up with runners on the corners and one away, Jake Hasbrouck delivered a two-RBI double down the right-field line. He later came around to score on an RBI single from Dylan Lemons to put the Texans on top 3-0.
After Hardin-Simmons pushed back with two in the ensuing half inning, Tarleton tacked on one more run in the fifth on an RBI double from Jared McCarver to extend the lead out to 4-2, which remained until the ninth.
Tarleton scored its final two runs in the ninth when Elvin Alamo drove in Hunter Hudson with an RBI single and then came around to score on an RBI single from Blake Adams for a 6-2 lead. Hardin-Simmons got its final two runs in their half of the ninth before Avila closed the door.
Rodriguez, McCarver, Hasbrouck, and Hudson led the way with two-hit performances while Adams, Tyler Fowler, Lemons, and Alamo had one hit each to round out Tarleton’s 12-hit game. Hasbrouck had a team-high two RBI while six different Texans scored a run.
Tarleton and Hardin-Simmons are scheduled to finish up the series Saturday in Stephenville with a 3 p.m. doubleheader.