Tarleton offense stays hot as they split double header with St. Thomas

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STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton was on fire offensively all-day Friday as they scored 15 runs in two games, splitting the doubleheader with St. Thomas at the Tarleton Baseball Complex.

Game 1: Tarleton 6, St. Thomas 5

Dylan Kurahashi-Choy Foo walked off St. Thomas (5-21) in the bottom of the tenth inning with a solo home run to left field as Tarleton (12-21) took the 6-5 extra inning victory over the Tommies.

Tarleton had four players with two hits in Choy Foo, Jake Escalon, Colby Feris and Corey Young. Young and Escalon each contributed two RBI.

The teams traded leads throughout the game as there were five lead changes. St. Thomas got the scoring started early with two runs in the first inning with an RBI single and RBI bunt off Texan starter Luke Baley. Baley threw 4.0 innings, three straight scoreless after the first. He allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits, striking out two.

After two scoreless innings in the second and third from both teams, Tarleton got on the board in the fourth. Escalon hit his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot that scored Choy Foo and tied the game at two.

Feris followed the home run up with a single to left-center field. The next batter, Young, stepped to the plate and with a 1-0 count, sent a ball over the batter’s eye dead center for a 413.4 foot two-run blast that gave Tarleton a 4-2 lead.

The lead was short lived as St. Thomas sent three runs home in the top of the fifth. They hit a two-run home run of their own off Baley to start the inning. Baley was replaced by Zach Poe who lasted three batters after giving up three straight hits. St. Thomas retook the lead, 5-4.

Zach Gagnon entered the game and proceeded to have his best performance of the season. He pitched 5.0 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, and striking out two.

The teams traded three more scoreless innings through the eighth. With Tarleton up to bat down 5-4, two runners on with one out in the bottom of the ninth, their most consistent bat all season stepped to the dish in Alec Williams.

He hit an RBI single to right field that knotted the game up at five.

Matthew Hickey (2-0) earned the win, pitching the tenth for Tarleton and allowing no runs on two hits, with three strikeouts.

Game 2: St. Thomas 11, Tarleton 9

Tarleton held a 6-1 lead in the fourth inning, but ultimately could not keep St. Thomas (6-21) off the bases as they fell in game two of the doubleheader 11-9.

The Texans (12-22) were led by London Green’s three-hit, two home run, three RBI performance. It was his second multi-home run game in three games. Kemuel Thomas-Rivera also finished the game with three hits. Colby Feris and Alec Williams each contributed two hits with Williams also posting two RBI.

St. Thomas designated hitter Ben Vujovich led the team with three hits and six RBI. Kevin Millar (1-0) earned the win after throwing 2.0 innings, allowing a lone run on three hits and striking out four. Chris Chiriboga picked up his first save of the season as he pitched the final 2.0 frames, holding Tarleton scoreless.

The Texans grabbed the 6-1 lead in the fourth inning when Green hit his first home run of the game, a two-run shot to left field that scored Colby Seltzer. They added another run on a Jake Escalon RBI bunt that was laid beautifully down the first base line.

Texan starting pitcher Jake Burcham threw 4.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits to go with four K’s. He allowed just one run over four innings, but the Tommies gave him some trouble in the fifth inning.

They plated four in the fifth inning to draw within a run at 6-5. Riley Boyd came on in relief of Burcham and hit a batter, gave up a two RBI single (runs credited to Burcham) and a two RBI double before making way for Zach Poe. Poe maneuvered out of the inning forcing two flyouts. He pitched 1.2 innings without giving up a hit or run.

Green hit his second home run, a two-run shot to right field that scored Mason Crews and made it 8-5 Tarleton in the bottom of the fifth.

The teams traded one run each in the sixth and seventh. Entering the eighth, Tarleton led 9-6. The eighth inning did Tarleton in as St. Thomas brought five runs home, aided by two Texan errors and they left the inning ahead 11-9. Beau Ross (0-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up the five runs in the inning.

Tarleton was held scoreless in the bottom half. Landon Cody held the Tommies without a run in the ninth, and the Texans came up to the plate down two runs with three outs remaining in the game.

St. Thomas looked to be in good shape as they got the first two Texan batters out. London Green stepped to the plate with two outs and was hit by a pitch. He later stole second base as Williams was at the plate. Williams beat out a ball to the shortstop for an infield single and the Texans had the winning run at the plate in Thomas-Rivera. In the middle of Thomas-Rivera’s at-bat, Williams attempted to steal second but was thrown out in what appeared to be a very close call for the third and final out of the game.

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