Tarleton State Baseball takes final game of weekend series to split series against Central Arkansas


CONWAY, Ark. – The Purple and White have restarted their winning streak after securing a pair of wins in the final games of the series against UCA. 

Tarleton State (9-4, 0-0 WAC) claimed the final game of the four-game series against Central Arkansas (7-6, 0-0 ASUN) with a 5-1 final. 

Braydon Risley had a great start on the bump for the Texans. The freshman tallied an impressive seven strikeouts and one walk with no runs and four hits in 4.1 innings pitched. Grant Garza (W, 3-0) took the win for the Purple and White with 3.2 innings pitched, with three strikeouts, giving up no runs, one hit and no walks. 

Payton Windham (L, 0-1) started on the mound and took the loss for the Bears with 5.0 innings pitched, giving up three runs on three hits, three walks and 10 strikeouts. 

The Texans totaled five runs on seven hits with a home run from Mason Crews for his third of the season, a pair of doubles with contributions from Brandon Howell and Trace Morrison. Cole Miears claimed the only stolen base of the game. UCA finished with one run on seven hits and two doubles. 

The top of the first saw the biggest inning of the game for either side with three runs for the visiting team. Tyson Drake was the leadoff hitter for the Texans and the first runner on after being hit at the plate, then advancing to second on a wild pitch. Jordan Andrade was next in the box and laid out a single to right field to see Drake come home and tally the first run for the Purple and White. Miears walked to see two runners on for the Texans and in scoring position. With one out on the board, Hunter Smith had a fly out to center field to advance Andrade and Miears followed. Morrison doubled to right center to put up the next two runs for Tarleton State to see the Texans with an early lead at 3-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Bears found a bit of steam as their leadoff took first on a walk. A single through the right side, followed by a bunt laid down for a single saw the visiting team in a pickle. Risley claimed the first out of the inning with a swinging strikeout as Garza came in to get Tarleton State out of the inning. Another strikeout followed by a groundout left three runners on for UCA and kept the visitors in the driver’s seat. 

Through eight innings, Central Arkansas saw four runners left stranded. The Texans left six on base through eight innings. 

In the top of the ninth, another great inning at the plate added a pair of insurance runs for the Purple and White. Crews opened up the inning in the box with a hard shot over the left field wall to tally his third homer of the season and see Tarleton State up 4-0. With one out on the board, Ike Shirey singled to left field and Cris Enriquez came in to pinch hit for Drake. A single up the middle from Enriquez saw Shirey in scoring position. A fly out to right field added the second out but Miears slapped a single through a gap on the left side to see Shirey come home and add the final run for the Texans.

The bottom of the ninth welcomed freshman Spencer Hatch to the mound in place of Garza. Hatch fielded a bunt with a toss to first to claim the first out of the inning. A pair of singles, followed by a walk saw the bases loaded. With a tough inheritance for Driskell, a fly out to right field saw a run on the board for the Bears but Driskell sealed the deal with a final strikeout to secure the second win of the weekend for the Purple and White with a 5-1 final.

Tarleton State Baseball will head back to San Antonio for a Wednesday matchup with the UTSA Roadrunners at 4 p.m.

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