Tarleton State takes Game 3, splitting Day 2 of 4-game series against Central Arkansas


CONWAY, Ark. – The Texans secured their first win of the weekend over the Bears with a ninth inning comeback in the second game on Saturday.

Tarleton State (8-4, 0-0 WAC) split Saturday’s doubleheader against Central Arkansas (7-5, 0-0 ASUN) taking the nightcap 6-4 for their first victory over the Bears after dropping the first game of the day, 5-3. UCA is 2-1 on the series with one game remaining. 

Matt Haley (L, 1-2) was the lone pitcher in the first game of the day with 6.0 innings pitched, giving up five runs on five hits, one walk and six strikeouts. Coleman MacRae (W, 1-1) started on the mound for the Bears with 5.1 innings pitched, giving up three runs on two hits, three walks and three strikeouts. Hunter Alexander (S, 3) took the save with no runs on one hit, two walks and four strikeouts in 1.2 innings pitched. 

In the first game of the doubleheader, the Texans compiled three runs on three hits. Mason Crews claimed the only double for the Purple and White. UCA tallied five runs on five hits with one double, two home runs and a pair of stolen bases.

The first two and a half innings were scoreless, but the bottom of the third saw the first run on the board after a double down the left field line put Tanner Leonard in scoring position. The runner for the Bears stole third and scored on a groundout to second to see a 1-0 score for the home team. 

The Texans found their way onto the board in the top of the fourth. Tyson Drake walked to see the first runner on for the visiting team. A sacrifice bunt from Mason Hammonds placed Drake in scoring position and a single to center field from Cole Miears got things in gear for Tarleton State, with Drake crossing home plate to tie it up at 1-1. 

In the bottom of the fifth, the Bears regained their lead with an inside the park homer to center field from Leonard to see Central Arkansas up, 2-1.

The top of the sixth saw another lead change with the Purple and White taking the reins this time. Drake walked to add the first Texan on base and Hammonds followed after being hit at the plate. A sacrifice bunt from Howell advanced the runners to second and third and a single to the left side from Trace Morrison sealed the deal on two more runs for the visitors with Drake and Hammonds coming home to see Tarleton State with a 3-2 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth, the home team got back in the fight. With one walk and a single up the middle, the Bears were back in scoring position. Drew Sturgeon stole the show for UCA with a three-run home run to steal the lead back at 5-3. 

The top of the seventh saw Kooper Shook and Hunter Smith walked to see two Texans on, but a final fly out to right field closed out Game 2 of the series with two runners left on for Tarleton State for a 5-3 final. 

Game 3 saw Reese Bassinger take the mound to start it off for the visiting team with 3.0 innings pitched, giving up three runs on four hits, three walks and two strikeouts. Zach Poe (W, 2-0) took the win for the Texans with 1.1 innings pitched, giving up a solo run on five hits, no walks and one strikeout. Jack Driskell (S,1) got the save for Tarleton State with 1.0 inning pitched, giving up no runs, no hits, no walks and two strikeouts. 

Charlie Christensen started on the mound for UCA with 7.1 inning pitched, giving up two runs on five hits, three walks and five strikeouts. Gavin Alveti (L, 0-1) took the loss for the Bears with 1.1 innings pitched, giving up three runs on four hits, no walks and one strikeout. 

Tarleton State tallied six runs on 10 hits, three doubles with contributions from Drake, Morrison, and Smith. Smith also claimed the only stolen base of the game. 

Central Arkansas finished with four runs on 10 hits with one triple. 

The bottom of the first was the biggest inning at the plate for the home team with three runs. The leadoff hitter took a hit at the plate to see the first runner on. A single up the middle followed by a walk loaded the bases for UCA. A sacrifice fly saw the first run on the board. A single to the Texans’ shortstop saw the next runner come home, followed by a single through the right side for the final run of the inning to see a 3-0 score at the end of the first.

The next three and a half innings saw neither team cross home plate. In the bottom of the fifth a single to right field got the ball rolling for the home team. With the runner advancing on a groundout, followed by a batter hit in the box, a single to right center saw the final run of the inning and of the game for Central Arkansas with a 4-0 lead.

Tarleton State got on the board in the seventh with a single from Smith to get the fire going for the Purple and White. As Smith stole second, Sergio Guerra came in clutch with a single up the middle to send Smith home and get the Texans in the game.

In the bottom of the seventh, the bullpen for Tarleton State played a crucial role in the victory for the visiting team. Poe came in for Tanner Carter with the bases loaded and two outs on the board, punching the final out with a swinging strikeout to keep the Texans on solid ground. 

The Purple and White kept their offense in check with Brandon Howell walked to see the first runner on. With two outs on the board, Morrison stepped into the box and cranked a solid shot down the left field line to send Howell home and debatable tagged out at third tallied the final out of the inning with the Texans down by two at 4-2. 

A phenomenal ninth inning for Tarleton State sealed the deal on Game 3 with the highest scoring inning of the game. Smith got the Texan offense going with a single down the right field line. Cris Enriquez added some fuel to the fire with another single to right field to see two runners on for the visiting team. With two outs on the board, a double down the right field line from Drake tallied a third run for the Purple and White. Jordan Andrade walked and a wild pitch made room for another Texan to cross the plate, tying the game at 4-4. Howell’s patience at the plate resulted in another walk to see three runners on for Tarleton State and a shot through the left side from Miears brought in two more runs to hand the lead to the visiting team for a 6-4 final.

In the bottom of the ninth, Driskell took the mound in place of Poe and saw two consecutive strikeouts and a final flyout to secure the first win of the series for the Texans. 

Tarleton State Baseball will face Central Arkansas for the final game of the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. 

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