Texans claim 1st win under Fuller Smith in season opener at Southeastern Louisiana


HAMMOND, La. – Tarleton State Baseball took their first season-opening win in the last five years with a 9-4 win Friday at Southeastern Louisiana.

Tarleton State (1-0, 0-0 WAC) tallied nine runs in the first game of the series against Southeastern Louisiana (0-1, 0-0 SLC), with seven runs coming in the fifth inning alone. 

A breakout fifth inning from the Texans paired with a strong relief pitcher found in Grant Garza sealed the deal for game one of the series. Tarleton State managed to pull off a seven-run inning, six of those runs with two outs on the board. 

Garza pitched 5.2 innings allowing only three hits and one run to take the first win of the season. The right-handed pitcher surpassed his career high in innings pitched (4.1) from the 2023 season on April 7 against Stephen F. Austin. 

A single from Cole Miears ignited an electric fifth inning for Tarleton State. With Miears on second and Cris Enriquez on first, a wild pitch saw both runners advance with two outs on the board. Austin Russell doubled to left center to bring in another run for the Purple and White. The next four balls saw Kooper Shook take first base, loading the diamond for the Texans. Hits from Mason Crews, Jordan Andrade, and Trace Morrison tallied the next four runs. Morrison crossed home after scoring on a wild pitch to see a 9-2 score in favor of Tarleton State. The fifth inning saw seven runs, five hits, one error and no Texans left on base.

Tarleton State tallied nine runs, 10 hits, seven RBI and no errors, overall. SLU compiled four runs, nine hits, and four RBI, as well as four errors. Four Texans claimed doubles including Enriquez, Russell, Shook, and Crews. Ike Shirey earned the only stolen base on the evening. 

Morrison opened the year at the plate for the Purple and White with a walk. With three runners on, Enriquez plated Morrison with a sacrifice fly for the first RBI of the season for Tarleton State. 

Piercen McElyea started the game for the Texans where he remained on the mound for 1.1 innings giving up four hits and one run but leading the Purple and White with two strikeouts.

In the top of the second, Shook doubled to right field and advanced to third after a grounded out from Crews. The second out of the inning came from Andrade at first base but saw Shook cross home plate to retake the lead for Tarleton State. 

McElyea saw one final out for the Purple and White in the bottom of the second after the Lions’ Jude Hall struck out swinging. Garza took the mound for the Texans seeing two back-to-back outs to close out the inning, leaving two Lions on base.

Gray Rowlett opened the fourth inning for SLU with a home run to left center to tie the score at 2-2, but three consecutive outs followed to see the end of the frame.

The bottom of the eighth saw Zach Poe out of the bullpen to take over for Garza. The Lions tallied one run in the eighth to close the deficit to six runs. 

Poe saw 1.0 innings with one hit, one run, and one hit by pitch to close out his time on the mound. With Tanner Carter taking the reins from Poe, SLU’s Jude Hall cranked a homer to right center to add the final run for the Lions. The green and gold had one runner on but a final fly out to center field closed out the game for a 9-4 final in favor of Tarleton State.

Crews went 3-4 on the evening with one double and an RBI. 

 Carter pitched 1.0 innings, giving up one hit and one run. 

Aiden Vosburg took the loss for SLU, pitching 1.2 innings, giving up six runs on five hits, and two walks, with four strikeouts.

 The Purple and White will take on the Lions in game two on Saturday at 2 P.M. The game broadcast can be found on ESPN+. Matt Haley will kick off the midday game on the mound for Tarleton State. 

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