Texans take both games in day two of Northern Colorado series with a walk off two-run home run in extra innings


STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton State Baseball closes out the second day of the series in extra innings with a walk off homer from Mason Crews to secure the second win of the day and third of the series. 

Tarleton State (5-2, 0-0 WAC) added a pair of wins after a double header against Northern Colorado (0-5, 0-0 BSC) with an 8-4 final in Game 1 and a 10-8 final for Game 2.

In the first game of the day, a three-run fifth inning gave the Purple and White a healthy five-run lead. The second game went into extra innings until Crews cranked out his second home run of the game to solidify another Texan win in the 12th inning. Crews claimed his first homer of the season earlier in Game 2 but unbeknownst to Texan Nation, he was just getting warmed up. 

Game 1 saw Tarleton State with eight runs on seven hits. Northern Colorado tallied four runs on eight hits. The Texans had four doubles in the first game with contributions from Mason Hammonds, Brandon Howell, Austin Russell and Trace Morrison with one each. The home team earned a new high in stolen bases for the season with five, two from Hammonds, two from Ike Shirey, and one from Cole Miears. The Bears tallied three doubles. 

The Texans kick started the seven-inning game taking the first pair of runs in the opening inning after a double to left center and a bunt single from Miears put the home team in scoring position. Hammonds stole home to claim the first run of the day. Miears was next to cross the plate as Russell singled to center field to see the Purple and White up 2-0. 

After two scoreless innings across the board, the Bears found a way to make it on the board in the fourth. Northern Colorado’s Caden Wagner struck out swinging but reached first on an error. A double from Garrett Fisher saw C. Wagner take the first run for the visiting team. 

In the bottom of the fourth, Russell doubled to left field while Hunter Smith took first after being hit at the plate. Morrison was next at the plate and planted a double down the left field line to see a pair of runs come in, giving Tarleton State a 4-1 lead.

The fifth inning opened with a single from Carter Monda and a balk, putting the Bears in scoring position. Jackson Romero singled to center field to see Monda take third but a fly out to left field gave him the chance to cross the plate, tallying the second run for UNC.

The biggest inning at the plate for the Texans came in the bottom of the fifth. Tyson Drake took first after being hit at the plate and capitalized on a wild pitch to claim second base. A groundout from Hammonds saw Drake advance to third. A single to centerfield from Miears locked in another run for the Purple and White as Drake came home. Howell doubled to right field to see Miears tally another run for the Texans. With Russell on first after being hit by the pitcher, Smith reached first and advanced to second on an error after Russell was out at second on a fielder’s choice, seeing Howell head home for Tarleton State for a five-run lead at 7-2.

The start of the sixth put Fisher on base after being hit at the plate. Brandon Sanchez doubled to left center to bring Fisher in for the Bears.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Shirey took a hit at the plate to get on base for the Texans then stole a pair of bases. Hammonds walked then stole second. Shirey capitalized on a wild pitch to add another on the board for the Purple and White. 

In the final inning of Game 1, Zain Zinicola singled to second base to put a runner on for the Bears. Jake King singled to left field to add another man on the bags for Northern Colorado. Another single, this time up the middle, saw Zinicola tally the final run of the game, with an 8-4 final in favor of the home team. 

In the second game, the Texans compiled 10 runs on 16 hits in comparison to the Bear’s eight runs on 13 hits. Crews racked up a pair of home runs for his first of the 2024 season. The Purple and White saw doubles from Drake, Andrade and Kooper Shook. Morrison claimed the only triple for the home team. UNC had three doubles and a triple. Jake Burcham started off on the mound for Tarleton State pitching for 1.0 inning, giving up four hits, six runs, walking three and striking out two. Hunter Gibson took the mound for Northern Colorado, pitching 3.2 innings, giving up five hits, four runs, walking three and striking out four. 

Freshman Parrish Beagle (W, 1-0) took the win for the Texans pitching 2.0 innings, giving up no runs, no hits, no walks and no strikeouts. Murphy Gienger (L, 0-2) took the loss for the visiting team with 4.2 innings pitched, giving up four hits, two runs, walking one and striking out six.

Game 2 started off in favor of the visiting team with the Bears scoring more in the first inning than they have in any game yet this season. A big five-run inning for UNC started with a double from the leadoff hitter to get the Bears in motion. Carson Gross walked, and Kai Wagner was hit at the plate to load the bases for Northern Colorado. C. Wagner doubled down the right field line to see two runs in and put the visitors on the board first. Zinicola reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second while two unearned runs crossed the plate. Zinicola capitalized on a wild pitch to tally the final run of the opening inning. 

In the top of the second, a triple from Gross to right center saw UNC immediately in scoring position. K. Wagner singled to the pitcher and Gross crossed home to see the Bears up 6-0. C. Wagner doubled to left field to see two runners in scoring position. Sanchez had a ground out to third to see K. Wagner cross the plate to wrap up a two-run inning for Northern Colorado. 

With no runs on the board for the Texans, UNC came into the third with a seven-run lead. A single to the left side from Romero put the first Bear on base. Gross singled to right field giving the go ahead to Romero to take third. Another single to center field from K. Wagner sent Romero home and Gross to third but the run from Romero would be the last run of the game for the Bears, leaving three runners on.

The Texans found some fight in the bottom of the third as Shirey singled through the left side and advanced to second on a balk to get things going for the home team. An error from the pitcher landed Shirey at third and a wild pitch put the Tarleton State shortstop across the plate to get the Purple and White in the battle. Jordan Andrade and Miears walked while a single to right field from Cris Enriquez placed Andrade at home to add a second run for the Texans.

The bottom of the fourth saw two more runs for Tarleton State. Morrison planted a triple to left field to get the Texans rolling and a ball hammered over the left field wall from Crews brought in two runs for the Texans. 

The fifth inning saw a double from Drake, followed by a single to third from Miears to advance Drake to third base. A ground out from Enriquez put the Texan’s third baseman across home plate to bring the score to 8-5, closing the deficit to three runs.

In the bottom of the sixth, the game shifted in favor of the home team. With two outs on the board for the Bears and two runners on, Andrade ripped a double to center field to send three across the plate for the Texans to tie up the game at 8-8 and get Tarleton State back in the game. 

The next five innings saw a combined five hits and nine runners left on base with no runs scored by either team. 

The 12th and final inning saw Morrison walked then an electric two-run walk off home run from Crews sealed the deal for the Purple and White to secure the second game of the day, 10-8 and leave the Texans 2-0 on the day and 3-0 on the series. 

The final game of the series will start at 12 p.m. on Sunday and can be found on ESPN+. 

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