Waltmon shuts out UTPB to deliver first win for Tarleton, Meade

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STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton Head Coach Aaron Meade is a pitching guy.

He was tabbed to lead the Texan baseball program after a standout playing career as a pitcher that saw him go on to be drafted in the 10th round of the 2010 MLB Amatuer Draft out of Missouri State. He went on to lead Pittsburg State’s pitching staff out of the cellar with a program-best team ERA during his time as the pitching coach.

So it’s only fitting that the first head coaching win for this pitching guy from Kansas City should come on the strength of a complete-game, two-hit shutout that was capped off with a strikeout – a pitcher’s dream scenario.

That’s exactly how Meade’s first head coaching win came to fruition Friday afternoon at the Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex in Stephenville as starter Justin Waltmon blanked UT Permian Basin for seven innings while the offense supplied enough runs to end the game early in a 10-0 rout.

After a scoreless first, the Texans (1-3, 1-3 LSC) got the offense rolling with back-to-back singles from Blake Burns and Luke Morton. Burns took an extra base on the Morton base knock and Morton advanced on the throw. Jordan Parker wore a pitch to load the bases with no one out to set things up.

Ian Groves cleared the bases with a three-run double off the left field wall in his first home at bat as a Texan to give Tarleton a 3-0 lead.

After Tarleton tacked on a pair of sacrifice flies in the third, the Texans kicked the doors off the hinges with a five-run fourth inning to extend the lead to double digits. Tarleton loaded the bases with no one out and, after a pair of outs appeared to put a damper on the rally, Morton and Parker worked bases-loaded walks to plate a pair. Then UTPB sailed a throw into right field to bring in two more before Dean Frew capped off the inning with an RBI double for the 10-0 edge.

Meanwhile, Waltmon was dealing on the mound.

The junior right hander shut the Falcons down in the sixth and danced out of danger in the seventh to close it out. The Falcons needed one run in the seventh to force more baseball and used an overturned call and a single to set up with runners on the corners and no one out.

Waltmon found a new level, though. He picked off the runner at first. Got a groundball to third to freeze the runner and then put the game away with a swinging strikeout. He struck out four and allowed two hits in the complete game shutout.

Every Tarleton starter that recorded an official at bat had a base hit for the game. Zach Mesa and Corey Young each had two hits on the day while Groves paced the offense with a four RBI performance. Jordan Parker didn’t have a hit, but also didn’t have an at bat as the senior from Flower Mound had a walk and three hit by pitches on the day.

The Texans and Falcons will return to action tomorrow at 2 p.m. for a single, nine-inning game.


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