Green, Hackett lead Tarleton to series finale victory over Lamar

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STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton was in search of a complete game on both sides of the ball, and they accomplished just that in a 12-2 run rule victory over Lamar on Sunday afternoon at the Tarleton Baseball Complex.

Bryce Hackett (2-4) threw a career-high 8.0 innings, allowing just two runs, walking none and striking out five Cardinals (20-13, 9-6 WAC). He was the lone pitcher for the Texans (10-21, 6-9 WAC) and picked up his second win of the season.

“He just competed and made pitches when he needed to, and when he got behind in counts, he executed on secondary pitches which kept them off balance,” said head coach Aaron Meade.

Offensively, the Texans brought a run home in five of eight innings played. London Green led the way with two home runs, a two-run shot in the fourth inning and a grand slam in the fifth. The switch hitter flexed his muscles as he hit one from each side of the plate.

Freshman Jaime Perez tallied two hits and an RBI as did Dylan Kurahashi-Choy Foo and Colby Feris.

Tarleton was able to knock Lamar starting pitcher Josh Ekness (0-2) out of the game after only 1.0 inning pitched as he gave up three runs on two hits, walking three.

“We weren’t chasing pitches” said Meade on the offensive production. “We were being selective, and when we got our pitch, we got after it”.

Coming into the game, Tarleton was 1-11 when trailing after the first inning and 0-14 when trailing after the second. On the flip side, they were 2-3 when they led after the first and 7-2 when leading after the second.

Tarleton did just what they needed to do as they put a three-spot up in the first after Hackett retired three of four Cardinal batters in the top half. Green led off with a walk and then stole second base which put Perez in position to knock him in with an RBI single to left field to get the scoring started.

Choy Foo reached on a fielder’s choice with a putout at third that scored Perez, and Jake Escalon hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Kemuel Thomas-Rivera and make it a 3-0 ballgame.

Lamar looked poised to continue their hot streak at the plate as they answered in the second inning with two runs of their own thanks to a Kirkland Banks groundout RBI and a Josh Blankenship RBI single. No matter though, as they were shut out the rest of the way by Hackett and the Tarleton defense.

In the bottom of the third inning with the bases loaded and Colby Seltzer up to bat, Cardinal pitcher Landon Odom threw a pitch in for a strike. As the catcher tossed the ball back to Odom, Alec Williams took off headed for home from third base to the Cardinals surprise and safely stole home to extend the Texan lead to 4-2.

Tarleton put up two and five runs in the fourth and fifth thanks to the Green home runs to extend their lead to 11-2.

With the game sitting at 11-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Karson Krowka was at third after he pinch ran for Perez, who doubled to right field. Lamar proceeded to toss a wild pitch that sent Krowka home with the game-ending run per the Western Athletic Conference’s 10-run rule after seven innings came into play.

Tarleton will return to action on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT. They head to San Antonio to take on the UIW Cardinals for a midweek rematch as Tarleton took the 1-0 victory at home earlier in the season.

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