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STEPHENVILLE (April 28, 2015) — Fans who waited out rain delays were treated to quite the pitchers’ duel on Senior Day at Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex Sunday afternoon.
Unfortunately – for the home fans, anyway – they were also treated to a loss.
Solo home runs in the ninth and 10th innings proved to be just enough for West Texas A&M to win 2-1 in the finale of the Lone Star Conference series in which the Buffs won two of three games.
West Texas A&M also won 9-3 in the opening game of a Saturday doubleheader, before Tarleton bounced back with a 6-2 win in the nightcap.
The Buffs are alone in first place in the LSC, one game ahead of Texas A&M-Kingsville. Tarleton is alone in fourth behind Angelo State and ahead of Eastern New Mexico and Cameron. The Texans conclude their regular season with a three-game set at A&M-Kingsville this weekend. They play a single game at 6 p.m. Friday with a doubleheader to follow at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Tarleton’s lone win in the series was fueled by Kyle Gottardy (4-5), who didn’t allow an earned run – there were two unearned scores by the Buffs – in seven innings of work. He didn’t have a strikeout, but didn’t need one to effectively navigate five hits and a pair of walks. Hunter Houston didn’t allow a hit while striking out three over the final two innings. he did walk two and hit a batter, but didn’t allow a run.
Kevin Meredith was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs in the Tarleton win, while Alec Humphreys, who had a triple in the game-one loss – went 2-for-3. Landon Thompson had a 2-run double and Elijah Christenson a two-run single, the biggest hits of the series for the Texans.
WT dominated game one, scoring three times in the fourth and four in the fifth. Dalton Weeks was 3-for-3 and drove in two runs for Tarleton, while Landon Merka was 2-for-3.
Merka scored the lone Tarleton run in the 10-inning battle on Sunday, which despite two rain delays was completed before a series of tornado-producing storm cells crashed through Erath County. He reached home plate on a single by Christenson in the fifth, and Tarleton led until the ninth.
The second delay followed the eighth inning, and when action resumed Ryan March took Houston deep in the ninth. The Texans couldn’t answer against an equally strong pitching performance by West Texas A&M, and Trevor Hansen hit the game-winning home run in the 10th.
Humphreys concluded his strong series from the plate by going 2-for-4, while Peter Mahon was 3-for-4 for Tarleton.
The pitching rotation was effective until the first eight innings, with Colton Burleson starting and posting the exact same stat line as first reliever Trevor Renfro – 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks and 3 strikeouts. Troyal Yosko then worked 3.2 innings of shut-out relief, allowing just two hits and striking out two, before Houston, who fanned four batters, took over with two outs in the eighth.