SPECIAL TO THE FLASH
PORTALES, NM (April 16, 2016) – Tarleton went on the road and took care of business with a three-game sweep over Eastern New Mexico to move into the fourth and final playoff spot for the Lone Star Conference tournament. It was the first sweep of the season for the Texans, who improve to 18-21 overall and 12-14 in the Lone Star Conference.
“Today the boys were able to win two different type of games,” said head coach Bryan Conger. “In game one we jumped out to a lead and were able to apply pressure and put some quality at-bats together with runners in scoring position.
“In game two we were able to answer back each time and then take advantage of some reads on balls in the dirt to scratch out some runs. We created and then took advantage of our opportunities and found a way to win.”
Tarleton scored all 12 runs in the first three innings – including a seven-run second – and Trevor Renfro tossed his third straight complete game as the Texans pounded the Greyhounds in game one of the Saturday doubleheader at Greyhound Field.
The Texans got on the board in the first inning when Alec Humphreys hit a one-out triple to center and would score on Jake Hasbrouck‘s double.
Tarleton’s bats came alive in the second inning with seven runs on seven straight hits. Zach Fleet,Dylan Kuhn, Forrest Perron, Humprheys, Hasbrouck, Hunter Seales, and Garrett Kizer all had hits in the inning. Humphreys pounded his second triple in as many innings for two RBIs and Kizer had a two-run double.
With an 8-0 lead, Tarleton added four more runs in the third when Humphreys ripped his second home run of the season for a three-run shot. Humprheys finished the game 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a career-high five RBIs.
Renfor, the reigning Lone Star Conference Pitcher of the Week, only allowed one base runner in through the first three innings and had four strikeouts in the stretch. Eastern New Mexico scores its first runs of the game on a two-run homer by Tregra Williams in the fourth. Renfro (6-3) retired six straight after the home run and finished the outing with back-to-back strikeouts in the seventh for his fifth complete game of the year.
The Texans belted 14 hits in the game for the third time this season. Hasbrouck went 3-for-5 with two RBIs at the plate while Perron (2-for-5, RBI) and Fleet (2-for-4, two runs) also had multi-hit games. Seven of the nine players score runs in the game.
After the game two rout, Tarleton and Eastern New Mexico went back and forth in the series finale, a game that featured three lead changes and was a one-run game for most of the way.
As they did all series, Tarleton scored first in the game with two runs in the second. The Texans outscored ENMU 14-0 in the first two innings of the three-game series. Garret Kizer led off the second with a single to center that started of stretch of three straight hits to open the frame. Landon Merka followed with a single and Dalton Richardson doubled to left to plate two runs.
Blain Bagley started on the mound for Tarleton and went the first four innings with only one run surrendered. The Greyhounds hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning for their first lead of the series at 4-3.
After exchanging zeroes in sixth inning, Tarleton answered back with two runs to retake the lead. Merka drove home Hunter Seales on a single to left and Landon Thompson‘s fielder’s choice ground out brought home Kizer.
ENMU would tie the score up at 5-all in the seventh a pair of two out hits, but Bagley would get out of the jam with the score still tied. Despite the no decision, Bagley went seven innings and struck out three to keep Tarleton in the game.
The two teams would each score a run in the ninth inning to send it to extra innings for the sixth time this season.
In the top of the 11th, Tarleton battled back and scored two runs on two outs to take the lead. Forrest Person’s double drove home Dylan Kuhn and Alec Humphreys later scored on a wild pitch that proved to be the game winner.
Callaway Kirkpatrick (3-5) got the win in relief and Zach Freeman came on to pitch with two on and two out in the 11th and retired the final batter on a fly out to center for his fourth save of the year.
Landon Merka, Dalton Richardson, and Landon Thompson all went 3-for-5 in the series finale in which Tarleton smashed 19 hits – the second most this season (21 vs. St. Mary’s). Forrest Perron andGarret Kizer each had two hits with Perron adding two RBIs and Kizer scoring two runs.
The Texans return home to take on Cameron in a crucial three-game series that has playoff implications with both teams battling for the fourth and final playoff spot. The series starts on Friday, April 22 at 3 p.m. at Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex.