Special to The Flash
STEPHENVILLE (March 31, 2017) – Tarleton baseball had its chances against No. 3 Angelo State but tough pitching by the Rams shut down the Texans in a doubleheader loss on Friday at the Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex.
Tarleton opened the doubleheader against Angelo State’s ace Matt Shannon and knew they had to get ahead early against a guy who is now 5-0 with a 3.12 ERA. The Texans did just that in the first inning, with Austin Call driving in the game’s first run on an RBI double to left that scored Dylan Lemons.
But after the double, the Texans were retired in order over the next 13 hitters spanning to the sixth inning. Angelo State tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth on an RBI double and scored three runs in the fifth on three hits in the inning.
Nathan Hickey started on the mound for Tarleton and matched Shannon through his four innings of work. Hickey gave up one run on three hits with five strikeouts, but did walk four batters in the no decision.
The Texans had runners at first and third with one out in the sixth inning but a pair of strike outs ended the scoring threat. Tarleton put together a late two-out rally in the seventh inning when Blake Adams lifted a ball that found its way down between the pitcher and catcher to score Ben Mauseth. With the go-ahead run at the plate and tying runs in scoring position, the Texans grounded out to end the opener.
Conner Fletcher was nearly perfect in his 2.1 innings of relief, throwing the final innings of the game and giving up one hit and one walk to go with a strikeout.
Angelo State scored the first five runs in the game, including a pair of home runs to put the Rams up early. Hunter Seales got the first hit of the game for the Texans in the third inning but could only advance to second base.
Tarleton’s offense woke up in the sixth inning, with two straight singles by Jake Shelby and Blake Adams put runners at first and second to start the inning. The pair move up a base on a wild pitch and Shelby later scored on Francisco Rodriguez‘s sacrifice fly.
Tarleton added another run on a wild pitch that brought Adams home. But with runners at first and third with two outs, the scoring opportunity was shut down on an infield pop-up.
Tarleton’s bullpen came in and shut the Rams down in the final three innings, with Chris Reed throwing two innings allowing an unearned run and Hunter Houston and Eddie Avila combining to throw a scoreless seventh inning.