ODESSA – Tarleton won its second straight Lone Star Conference series and seventh straight game by sweeping Sunday’s doubleheader against the Falcons by a combined score of 28-4.
“The boys came out today and played two complete games all the way around,” said head coach Bryan Conger. “We are really proud of how they responded to being challenged today. Our bullpen guys did a great job and are starting to pitch up to their abilities. We need to come out tomorrow with the same focus and intensity as we did today.”
Game 1: Tarleton 12, UT Permian Basin 0
Tarleton plated 12 runs on 12 hits, six walks and three hit by pitches to back Nathan Hickey’s eighth win of the season in the first game Sunday afternoon.
Blake Adams started the game with a first-pitch home run and the Texans never looked back.
After Hickey got back-to-back strikeouts in the bottom of the first to end a two-on threat from the Falcons, Tarleton extended its lead out to 3-0 with an RBI single from Jake Hasbrouck and a suicide squeeze from Hunter Hudson in the second.
The Texans would break the game wide open with a four-run third, starting with a two-run homer from Luke Morton. The other two runs of the inning came in to score on an error by the Falcon shortstop and an RBI fielder’s choice from Tyler Fowler for a 7-0 Tarleton edge. Between the only two scoreless frames of the game, the Texans sandwiched in a two-run fifth inning on an RBI from Elvin Alamo and a wild pitch that plated Hudson for a 9-0 lead.
Jared McCarver plated one on a sacrifice fly in the seventh before Francisco Rodriguez capped off the scoring with a two-run single to center.
Rodriguez led the offense with a 3-4 day at the dish with two RBI and two runs scored while Hasbrouck, Adams, and Alamo also boasted two-hit performances. McCarver, Morton, and Ruben Rodriguez rounded out the offense with one hit each.
Meanwhile, Hickey was dealing from the mound.
The senior right-hander twirled five innings of shutout baseball, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out four. He was relieved for the final two innings by Mitchell Morris, who got the final six outs of the game – three via the strikeout.
Game 2: Tarleton 16, UT Permian Basin 4
Tarleton got nine combined RBI from the 9-1-2 spots in the lineup, led by five from Blake Adams in the leadoff spot, to rout the Falcons 16-4.
The scoring started in the second when Francisco Rodriguez kept his momentum rolling from the first game with an RBI triple to score McCarver for the first run of the game. Then, Rodriguez came in to make it a 2-0 lead on a wild pitch.
Adams tacked on two more in the third with a single swing of the bat as the senior blasted a two-run home run to center for a 4-0 lead.
Tarleton broke it wide open in the fourth with a four spot, which started when Jake Hasbrouck scored on a throwing error. Alamo drove in the next one with an RBI single before he and Adams moved up a base – Adams would score – on a wild pitch. Ruben Rodriguez capped off the inning with an RBI double to plate Alamo and push the lead to 8-0.
The Falcons scored their only runs of the afternoon with a four-run fourth of their own, but Tarleton answered with eight unanswered runs over the next two innings.
Tarleton scored five in the fifth, starting with a two-RBI double from Hudson. He was followed up with an RBI sacrifice fly from Adams and an RBI double from Alamo, who then came in to score the final run of the inning on a wild pitch. The Texans tacked on three more in the sixth on a solo home run from Jake Hasbrouck and a two-run single by Adams to cap off his five-RBI day.
Adams was 3-4 with five RBI and two runs scored while Alamo went 2-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Francisco Rodriguez and Tyler Fowler also had two-hit performances while Ruben, Hasbrouck, and Hudson had one hit each.
Evan Pontley got the start and went 3.2 before turning things over to Sid Payan and Zach Svensson out of the bullpen. Payan and Svensson worked flawless relief over the final 3.1 innings. Payan earned his first collegiate win with 2.1 innings of scoreless work and four strikeouts. Svensson faced one batter over the minimum in the seventh and struck out two.
Tarleton and UT Permian Basin will close out the series with a single game tomorrow at 1 p.m. in Odessa.