Tarleton takes down SFA in two thrillers on Senior Day

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STEPHENVILLE – Because of lightning the previous night, fans got extra baseball on Saturday with Tarleton and Stephen F. Austin playing the rest of Friday’s game and Saturday’s full scheduled game. It turned out to be 12 innings of thrilling play on Saturday, with the Texans taking both at the Tarleton Baseball Complex on Senior Day.

Game 1: Tarleton 12, SFA 11
The first game of the series began on Friday evening at 6 p.m and did not conclude until 2:58 p.m on Saturday. It was an offensive game through and through as Tarleton (15-33, 8-17 WAC) and SFA (14-32, 7-17 WAC) combined for 23 runs and 30 hits.

The Lumberjacks got off to a hot start as they scored the first six runs of the game. They were able to get to Texan starting pitcher Bryce Hackett as he surrendered seven runs on nine hits.

Tarleton scored their first run in the third, but SFA answered back with a three spot in the fifth. The Texans brought home a run in the third, fourth and four in the fifth to make it 10-6.

Mason Crews hit a solo home run in the third inning to left field, his third long ball of the season.

The fourth inning saw Spencer Bloom hit a sacrifice fly out to center field to score Dylan Kurahashi-Choy Foo. SFA came back with three runs in the fifth, and the Texans answered with four in the bottom half.

Colby Seltzer led the half inning off with a solo home run to left field, his fourth home run of the season. Then, it was London Green who decided to keep it going. The senior teed off for a three-run blast to right field, his 15th of the season, and it was 10-6.

SFA brought another run home in the sixth to make it 11-6. As Tarleton stepped to the plate in the seventh, the lightning delay came into play. The two teams resumed play the next day. London Green was up to bat and Zach Poe was the pitcher of record at the break.

London Green went on to hit his second home run of the game, his 16th of the season, on the first pitch he saw on Saturday to make it 11-7. Zach Poe (W, 2-2) pitched a clean eighth inning allowing just one hit to bring the Texans back up in the eighth.

They proceeded to put up five runs and take the 12-11 lead in the eighth. Rhett Gallagher reached on a throwing error to lead things off, Crews singled to center field, Green hit in Gallagher on an RBI bunt, Choy Foo singled to left field and Taylor Daniell hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Crews.

Kemuel Thomas-Rivera said it was his turn after that. The senior sent a rocket over the left center field wall for a three-run home run, his ninth of the year, to give the Texans the 12-11 lead.

Matthew Hickey (S, 5) came on to pitch the ninth and struck out two batters allowing just a lone hit to secure the save and the comeback victory for the Texans, who at one point trailed 7-1.


Game 2: Tarleton 5, SFA 4
Tarleton’s ten seniors were honored after game one and it was time to play after that. The Texans ran out nine seniors in their lineup, eight position players and starting pitcher Luke Baley.

SFA (14-33, 7-18 WAC) got out to another early lead as they were making solid contact off Baley. They plated a run in the first and three in the second to make it a 4-0 lead quickly. Baley threw 2.0 innings allowing four runs on five hits.

Riley Boyd entered for Baley and proceeded to throw the best game of his career, pitching a career-high 5.0 shutout innings, striking out five and walking none. His domination of the ‘Jacks offense was just what Tarleton (16-33, 9-17 WAC) needed as they tried to climb back into the game.

The Texans scored their first run in the fifth inning. Corey Young tripled to left center field to lead the inning off and Spencer Bloom was able to bring him home on an RBI groundout to the shortstop to make it 4-1.

Tarleton put two more on the board in the sixth with back-to-back solo home runs. London Green got it started with his second home run of the day, this one to left center for his 17th of the season. Dylan Kurahashi-Choy Foo sent one deep to left field for his fifth of the season and the Texans were within a run in the sixth inning.

Zane Badmaev (W, 2-2) entered for Boyd and continued the stellar pitching. He held SFA scoreless as well, tossing 2.0 innings, striking out a career-high tying five and walking none. While he was dealing on the mound, the Texan offense went to work.

Tarleton tied the game for the first time in the eighth with timely hitting. Choy Foo doubled to right field with two outs. Next, Taylor Daniell smacked a ball past the third baseman and into left field on a 2-2 count to score Choy Foo and tie the game at four going into the ninth.

Badmaev struck out three straight ‘Jacks in the ninth and all the momentum was on Tarleton’s side.

Young led the inning off and singled through the left side of the defense. With Bloom up to bat, Young stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. On a 3-2 count, Bloom put a ball in play down the third base line. The third baseman mis-handled it and Young came home to score and walk the game off. Young, a senior, scored the first and last runs of the game.

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