STEPHENVILLE (April 14 2017) – Tarleton baseball used the sixth inning in both games against UT Permian Basin to either come from behind or break a tie and sweep the doubleheader against the Falcons on Friday at the Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex.
It’s not always how you start a game, but how you finish it. At least that’s what Tarleton can say after a wild opener to the doubleheader.
The Texans trailed 6-0 in the sixth inning against UTPB after uncharacteristically committing five errors in the process. But even with two outs in the inning and down to their last four outs in the game, the Texans believed they still had a chance.
Austin Call ripped a one-out single down the left field line that started the scoring spree. After Blake Adams was hit by a pitch, Jake Hasbrouck singled through the left side that allowed Call to score on a fielding error.
It was still 6-1 with two outs, but the bases were loaded for pinch hitter Stacy Heinatz. Heinatz laced a double to left center that cleared the bases to make it 6-4. Two batters later, the bases were loaded once again, this time for Francisco Rodriguez – who led off the inning for Tarleton – and Rodriguez tied the game up at 6-6 with a two-run single to left. Ben Mauseth delivered the game-winning runs with a pinch-hit two-run single down the right field line that scored Heinatz and Hunter Seales.
For the inning, Tarleton sent 13 batters to the plate, and had six of its nine hits that scored all eight runs.
Hunter Houston came on in the seventh inning and retired the side in order to record his second save of the season.
Evan Pontley (5-3) started on the mound for the Texans and the right-hander battled and fought through the errors to throw six innings and register the win. Pontley had five earned runs to his line, but also struck out six Falcons and only walked one.
Hasbrouck and Call had the only two-hit games for Tarleton, each going 2-for-3 to lead the offensive efforts.
Game 2: Tarleton 8, UT Permian Basin 7
Tarleton once again had timely hits late in the game and relied on the bullpen to shut the Falcons down and pick up the win in the second game.
The Texans trailed 4-1 in the fourth inning when Garret Kizer provided a spark with a one-out solo home run to left that cut the lead in half.
In the fifth inning, Dylan Lemons walked and Blake Adams singled to left to put runners and first and second for Jake Hasbrouck. Hasbrouck brought everyone home, including himself, with a 415-foot three-run home run to center field that gave the Texans a 5-4 lead.
UTPB would tie the game in the sixth on three singles. Ben Mauseth and Jose Reyes started the home half of the sixth with singles and Francisco Rodriguez reached first on a sacrifice bunt attempt that the Falcons couldn’t execute. Stacy Heinatz started the comeback charge in game one and he did so in game two as well. With the bases loaded again, Heinatz singled to center to score two runs and give Tarleton a 7-5 lead. Lemons added a sacrifice fly for an 8-5 advantage heading into the seventh inning.
The Falcons had four hits in the seventh inning and scored a quick run that forced Eddie Avila to come in and get the final two outs. Avila struck the first hitter out he faced, but a single to center followed by an error allowed a run to score and make it a one-run game with the go-ahead runs on base.
It was no issue for Avila as he got the next batter to hit a routine pop up to left that ended the game. It’s the fifth save of the season for Avila.
Conner Fletcher improved to 5-0 on the season after coming on in relief in the sixth inning and had a scoreless appearance.
Jose Reyes went 3-for-3 at the place to lead the offensive attack. Blake Adams had the only other multi-hit game for the Texans, going 2-for-4 with a run and RBI.
Tarleton will look to sweep the series on Saturday with first pitch schedule for 1 p.m.
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