Texan Baseball splits doubleheader in Day 1 of WAC weekend series against UTRGV


STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton State Baseball secured the first game of the afternoon after run-ruling the Vaqueros, but UTRGV saved their offensive energy for the second game as each team ended the night with a victory on Friday evening. 

Tarleton State (21-18, 11-9 WAC) finished 1-1 against UTRGV (19-16, 8-9 WAC) after taking Game 1 in eight innings at 11-1 and falling just short in the second game with a 5-3 final in favor of the visitors. 

The Texans were electric offensively in the opening game against the Vaqueros with a big four-run inning in the seventh and another couple of runs in the eighth that closed out the first game early as the Purple and White led the visitors by 10. 

Piercen McElyea got the start for the home team with 3.0 innings on the bump, giving up a lone run on two hits, five walks and one strikeout. Grant Garza secured his eighth win to remain perfect with 5.0 innings on the mound, giving up no runs on one hit, no walks and three strikeouts. 

Former Texan Isiah Campa (L, 2-1) took the mound to start things off for the Vaqueros, giving up five runs on seven hits, three walks and one strikeout. 

The Purple and White amassed 11 runs on 16 hits with a two-run homer for Cole Miears for his fourth home run of the season. Tyson Drake and Kooper Shook each contributed a double to the Texan offense. The home team stole five bases with help from Ike Shirey (2), Mason Hammonds (1), Trace Morrison (1), and Austin Russell (1). 

UTRGV finished Game 1 with one run on three hits and a lone double.

Tarleton State found their way to the board quickly with a pair of runs in the bottom of the opening inning. Hammonds walked as the leadoff. With one out recorded, Miears put the home team on the board with a two-run homer over the left field wall. 

In the top of the second, the Vaqueros tallied their lone run for the game. A walk, followed by a batter hit at the plate saw a pair of runners on the base paths. An RBI double from their four-hole for the inning made way for a single run to cross the plate, make it a one run ball game at 2-1. 

Tarleton State continued to battle with a trio of runs coming in the fourth inning to put the visitors down by four. A leadoff double from Shook put the Purple and White in a good spot to start off the inning. Mason Crews walked and Shirey singled on a bunt to load the bases. With a single out on the board, Drake doubled to right field to bring in a couple of runs as Crews and Shook crossed the plate. A wild pitch left room for Shirey at the plate to tally the third run of the inning for the home team, bringing the score to 5-1.

The Texans’ half of the seventh buried the Vaqueros as Tarleton State left the inning with an eight-run lead. A leadoff single from Miears was followed by a walk as Cris Enriquez joined at first and Morrison singled on a bunt, loading the bags yet again for the Purple and White. Russell singled to left field to bring a pair of runners in. Morrison and Russell stole a pair of bases and a flyout brought Morrison home. An RBI single from Crews tallied the final run of the inning, bringing the total to nine for the Texans.

The bottom of the eighth saw the two-hole for Tarleton State walked to add the first Texan aboard. With a pair of outs recorded, Morrison walked and a single from Russell loaded the base path. Shook walked bringing in the 10th run, and Crews took a hard hit at the plate, bringing in freshman Boston Lee to pinch run for Crews to finish out the game as the final run came in for an 11-1 final.

In Game 2, the Vaqueros found their footing in the second inning with a four-run inning that carried them offensively throughout the duration of the evening. 

Matt Haley (L, 2-6) started on the mound for the Texans with 3.0 innings pitched, giving up five runs on nine hits, one walk and a pair of strikeouts. 

Zach Tjelmeland got the start for UTRGV with 5.0 innings on the bump, giving up a couple of runs on eight hits, three walks and four strikeouts. Roberts Bonilla secured his first save with 4.0 innings on the mound, giving up one run on four hits, one walk and no strikeouts. 

Tarleton State finished the evening with three runs on 12 hits with a lone double from Drake. Miears stole the only base for the home team in Game 2. The Texans left 11 runners on base throughout the duration of the game. 

The Vaqueros tallied five runs on 10 hits with three doubles in the second game of the day. 

The second inning saw UTRGV’s offense wake up with four runs to put the visitors ahead early. A leadoff double followed by a pair of singles brought in the first run for the Vaqueros. With one out on the board, another single loaded the bases. A second out was secured by the home team, but a three RBI double put the visitors up by four. 

In the bottom of the third, the Purple and White started chipping away at the deficit, fighting their way onto the scoreboard. A leadoff single from Shirey followed by a single from Hammonds placed Shirey at third. A lone out was recorded when Miears singled to right to bring Shirey home and put the home team on the board. Miears stole second to make that two Texans in scoring position. Enriquez walked to load the bags for the home team but a pair of outs followed, leaving the trio stranded. 

The final run for UTRGV came in the top of the fourth. The leadoff doubled and advanced on a wild pitch. A walk welcomed another Vaquero to the base path. A flyout brought in the lone run for the visitors for the inning. 

Tarleton State continued to fight in the bottom of the fourth adding another run to the board. A leadoff single from Shook landed the first Texan on base. Shook advanced on a balk and Sergio Guerra singled to advance Shook to third. A sacrifice bunt from Shirey made room for Shook at the plate to add the second run for the Purple and White but another couple of outs closed the door on the comeback for the home team in the fourth inning.

The next four innings went scoreless, but the Texans creeped back onto the board in the bottom of the ninth with another single run added to the board. Drake led off the inning with a double and Miears singled to place Drake at third. Enriquez reached on a fielder’s choice and Drake tallied the final run of the evening. A double play from the Vaqueros shut the door on Tarleton State’s late rally effort, leaving the final score at 5-3.

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