STEPHENVILLE – Beginning with the first pitch the Texan offense saw Friday, Tarleton took the series opener against No. 6 West Texas A&M to begin a weekend series between the top two teams in the Lone Star Conference at Cecil Ballow Complex.
“That was a really good college baseball game played by two good teams,” said head coach Bryan Conger. “The boys were ready to go today and it showed in all three phases of the game. Fletch was awesome on the mound. He’s such an awesome young man and a tremendous competitor. Blake got us going early and that really helped fuel us for nine innings. Now we need to take a breath again and get prepared to get after it again tomorrow with the same intent.”
After Conner Fletcher worked around a leadoff single, Blake Adams wasted no time in giving Tarleton the l`ead as the senior from Longview drove the first West Texas A&M pitch of the afternoon beyond the left field wall for a leadoff home run and a 1-0 Tarleton lead.
The lead carried into the third inning when Tarleton scratched out a run on a Luke Morton sacrifice fly to plate Adams for a 2-0 lead after three
Fletcher ran into his only real trouble of the day in the fourth but worked around a bases-loaded, no-one out situation allowing just one Buff run and escaping with a 2-1 lead intact.
Tarleton scored single runs in two more innings along the way when Luke Morton ripped an RBI single into centerfield in the fifth and Ruben Rodriguez laced an RBI single into the right-center gap to bring home Adams for his third run scored of the afternoon to extend things out to 4-1 in Tarleton’s favor.
Fletcher kept WT off balance for seven innings while racking up a career-high 12 strikeouts. Fletcher allowed just two hits and one run en route to his sixth win of the season. He gave way to Connor Flanagan, who bridged the gap to the ninth with a scoreless eighth, and then Eddie Avila shut things down with a milestone save.
Avila became the school’s all-time saves leader with his 17th career save and 11th this season.
Adams led the offense with a 3-4 day at the dish with three runs scored and an RBI while Ruben Rodriguez and Tyler Fowler also boasted multi-hit games with two hits each. Elvin Alamo and Luke Morton had one hit each.
Tarleton and West Texas A&M are scheduled to continue the series tomorrow with a 1 p.m. doubleheader. Stay tuned to TarletonSports.com for potential changes due to weather.