SAN ANGELO – Nathan Hickey and Eddie Avila led the way from the mound as Tarleton took the opening game of Friday’s doubleheader at No. 16 Angelo State.
Game 1: Tarleton 4, No. 16 Angelo State 2
Nathan Hickey and Eddie Avila were dominant from start to finish while their offense supplied them with two runs in the second and two more in the fifth to complete a 4-2 win over No. 16 Angelo State.
“We came out and played a good game,” said head coach Bryan Conger. “We got a great start from Nathan (Hickey) and got some timely hitting.”
Tarleton cracked the score column in the second inning when Jared McCarver doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch. He came in to score on an Angelo State error for the first run of the game before Elvin Alamo followed up with an RBI single plate Tyler Fowler for a 2-0 lead.
That lead remained over the next two innings before the Texans tacked on two more with two outs.
Ruben Rodriguez drove in Elvin Alamo with an RBI single and, after a single from Luke Morton, Dylan Lemons drove him in with an RBI ground-rule double to right center to chase the Angelo starter.
Meanwhile, Nathan Hickey was in complete control from the get-go. The senior right-hander pitched six shutout innings before allowing a two-run single in the seventh with one out. He gave way to Eddie Avila out of the bullpen who got two ground ball outs to secure the Tarleton win. It’s the fifth save of the season for Avila and the 11th in his career, which ties him for fourth-most all-time in program history with Hunter Houston.
McCarver and Alamo led the way with two hits each while Blake Adams, Francisco Rodriguez, Ruben, Morton, and Lemons had one hit each in the nine-hit effort.
Game 2: No. 16 Angelo State 6, Tarleton 4
An unanswered two-run double in the fifth proved to be the difference as Tarleton dropped its second game of the weekend 6-4 in the nightcap of Friday’s twin bill.
“We made some costly mistakes on defense and Angelo did what good teams do by taking advantage of them,” said Conger. “We were proud of the way the boys battled back. We had some chances late and just didn’t get it done.”
Angelo State scored first with three in the opening frame, but Tarleton had an answer two innings later when Blake Adams teed off for a three-run home run bring home himself, Elvin Alamo, and Hunter Hudson for a tie game at 3-3.
The Rams responded with one in the fourth on the sacrifice fly, but the Texans had an answer of their own in the fifth when Dylan Lemons brought home Adams on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to centerfield. That would go on to be all the scoring for Tarleton but Angelo pulled away with a two spot in the ensuing half inning.
Evan Pontley got the start and went four innings, allowing four runs – three earned – on seven hits while striking out three. Connor Flanagan pitched two innings of shutout relief out of the bullpen on two hits. Trent Stafford took the loss for the night.
The offense totaled six hits, led by two from Adams, while Morton, Jake Hasbrouck, Hudson, and Alamo had one each.