STEPHENVILLE – UT Permian Basin came out swinging to the tune of nine runs in the first three innings, but Tarleton persevered and scored 12 unanswered runs over four innings to cap off a four-game sweep with a 14-11 win over the Falcons in Odessa.
“The boys did an absolutely incredible job of competing and finding a way to claw their way back and finish off the weekend,” said head coach Bryan Conger. “That type of comeback on a Monday says a lot about their character.”
The Falcons struck first with two in the opening frame before Ruben Rodriguez laced a two-run single into right field to bring home Hunter Hudson and Blake Adams to put the Texans on the board and knot the score at 2-2.
UT Permian Basin answered with a seven spot in their half of the inning to take a 9-2 lead after three, but a two-out hit by pitch from Tyler Fowler in the top of the fourth started the Texan rally. Hudson followed up with a single before Blake Adams drove Fowler home for an RBI single to cut the deficit to six.
Tarleton chipped away with two more in the fifth on an RBI double from Jared McCarver and an RBI single from Fowler to bring the Texans within four at 9-5.
The four-run deficit carried into the seventh inning before Tarleton finally broke through for its first lead of the game on the strength of a nine-run inning. Luke Morton, McCarver, and Jake Hasbrouck got things started by loading the bases on a walk, hit by pitch, and a single, respectively, before Fowler drove in two with his second hit of the afternoon to bring the Texans within one at 9-8.
After Fowler advanced to third on a two-base error on the single, Hudson drove him in to tie the game at 9-9. Blake Adams kept the rally alive by wearing a pitch before Elvin Alamo drove in two with a single to right. After a single from Ruben Rodriguez, Luke Morton struck for more runs with a two-RBI double for a 13-9 lead. He later came in to score on a wild pitch to cap off the inning at 14-9.
Eddie Avila came on out of the bullpen to throw the final three innings to earn his career record 16th save and 10th of the season. His 16 career saves tie him for the Tarleton all-time lead with Keith Westberry. The senior right-hander threw the final three innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out five.
Connor Flanagan earned the win for Tarleton with 3.1 innings of shutout relief on three hits and a career-high seven strikeouts. Trent Stafford got the start and gave way to Chris Reed and Kurt Johnson out of the bullpen before Flanagan and Avila shut the door.
Three different Texans boasted three-hit performances – Adams, Ruben, and Hudson – while Morton and Fowler added two-hit performances. Fowler drove in three RBI while Alamo, Ruben, and Morton drove in two RBI each. Alamo, McCarver, Francisco Rodriguez, and Jake Hasbrouck rounded out the offensive attack with one hit each.
Tarleton will be back in Stephenville this weekend for the regular season home finale against No. 7 West Texas A&M in a four-game conference series. It will be ‘Senior Weekend’ and the Texans will recognize their 15 seniors on Sunday with a pregame ceremony.