Texan Baseball ends 2024 season at home with Senior Day win over Utah Valley in series finale


STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton State Baseball split the second day of the series with the Wolverines, closing out the Texans’ home campaign in the win column. 

Tarleton State (26-26, 16-11 WAC) finished the final home series against Utah Valley (27-26, 17-10 WAC) 1-1 on the Saturday evening. Game 2 saw a 11-7 final in favor of the visitors, but the Texans took the final game of the series and last home game of the season with a 9-4 final.  

A weekend of bad weather welcomed a 17 plus hours of baseball for the three-game series as weather delays came pouring in. The double header lasted 10 and-a-half hours from start to finish. 

Game 2

Matt Haley (L, 2-8) got the start for the Purple and White with 3.0 innings pitched, giving up eight runs on five hits, four walks and two strikeouts. 

Jackson Thomas started on the mound for Utah Valley with 2.1 innings pitched, giving up five runs on four hits, three walks and one strikeout. Robby Butenschoen (W, 5-0) saw 4.1 innings on the bump, giving up two runs on three hits, one walk and one strikeout. Eli Sundquist (S,1) earned his first save after a 2.1 inning outing, giving up no runs on one hit, no walks and five strikeouts. 

Tarleton State closed out the first game of the day with a total of seven runs on eight hits with a home run from Cole Miears for his seventh of the season. Sergio Guerra added a triple for the Texans while Hunter Smith, Kooper Shook and Slade McCloud each tallied doubles for the home team. 

The Wolverines compiled 11 runs on 13 hits with one home run and a pair of doubles. 

Utah Valley took the reins in the opening inning with six runs in to do damage early. The leadoff singled on a bunt and stole a bag. The two-hole singled as well and a hit by pitch loaded the diamond with no outs on the board. A pair of RBI singles brought in the first couple of runs and a flyout made room at home for the third run to come across. A second out followed and a three-run home welcome of trio of Wolverines across to give the visitors a 6-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

The Texans found some offensive rhythm in the bottom of the second with a couple of runs coming across to begin the rally. Cris Enriquez singled as the innings’ leadoff. Smith reached on a fielder’s choice as Enriquez was retired at second. Shook walked to join the base path and a two RBI double from McCloud earned the first pair of runs for the Purple and White.

Tarleton State kept the heat coming in the bottom of the third with a trio of runs tallied to make it a one-run ballgame. Mason Hammonds walked as the leadoff and Trace Morrison took a free 90 as well. Miears left the yard to bring three across and put some skin in the game for the home team, making the score 6-5 in favor of the visitors. 

UVU got back to work at the plate in the fourth with two runs scored. A pair of walks opened the inning for the guys in green. An RBI double tallied the seventh run and another walk followed. The innings’ five-hole reached on a fielder’s choice and an error from the Texans saw another run pinned for the Wolverines, unearned.

In the bottom of the sixth Shook walked and stole second to kick off the inning. With one out tallied and Shook on third, a flyout from Ike Shirey brought in the sixth run for Tarleton State. 

The visitors’ half of the seventh welcomed in another run. With one out recorded, a double was followed by an RBI single to continue the Wolverines’ reign. 

Tarleton State got to work in the bottom of the seventh with a lone run tallied to stay on pace with the visitors. Hammonds was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. With a couple of outs secured, Enriquez singled to send Hammonds home to decrease UVU’s lead to two runs at 9-7.

Utah Valley’s offense continued to work with another couple of runs coming across in the eighth. A leadoff single pair with a hit by pitch and a second single loaded up the base paths for the visitors. A pair of strikeouts held the damage to a minimum but a two RBI single ultimately sealed the deal on the first game of the day with an 11-7 final.

Game 3

Jake Burcham opened up the series finale for the Texans with 3.0 innings pitched, giving up two runs on five hits, one walk and no strikeouts. Zach Poe (W, 3-1) saw 2.0 innings on the mound, giving up no runs on no hits, one walk and two strikeouts. 

Chase Hennessey made his second appearance of the season, starting off the game for the Wolverines with 1.1 inning pitched, giving up one run on three hits, one walk and two strikeouts. Nick Sims (L, 0-1) took his first loss of the season, giving up four runs on two hits, two walks and no strikeouts. 

Tarleton State finished out the final game with nine runs on 10 hits with a double from Mason Crews and a stolen base from Shook.

UVU totaled four runs on 10 hits with one triple and three doubles.

In the bottom of the second inning, the home team found the board first with a solo run coming across. With one out recorded, Jordan Andrade walked, and McCloud singled on a bunt to put a pair on for the good guys. A groundout from Shirey made room for Andrade at the plate to see the Texans take the lead.

In the top of the third, the Wolverines got to work adding a couple of runs to the board. A leadoff singled was followed by an out. A walk and a ground out put a couple of runners in scoring position. A two RBI single saw Utah Valley take the lead.

In the visitors’ half of the fifth, the leadoff singled on a bunt and a double followed. With no outs recorded an RBI single tallied the third run for UVU. One out followed but an error on the Texans’ behalf welcomed another run across, unearned. 

With a 4-1 score in favor of Utah Valley, the storms rolled in and brought a couple of delays with it. After roughly two and-a-half hours of a rain delay, the Purple and White came back fired up and ready to get down to business. 

A seven-run inning in the sixth kicked down the door for Tarleton State. A pair of singles form Hammonds and Morrison started off the inning and Miears was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With a lone out recorded, a free 90 welcomed the second run across for the home team. A two RBI single from Shook tied things up at 2-2. McCloud was hit by a pitch to reload the bases and another walk handed the lead to the Texans. Crews doubled to bring in three more runs, bringing the lead to 8-4 in favor of the Purple and White. 

In the bottom of the seventh, two back-to-back outs started off the inning. Shook got things moving as a hit by pitch put a runner on for Tarleton State. Shook stole second and McCloud singled to bring Shook home to make the total 9-4.

The remainder of the game went scoreless as the Texans fought off the sweep and closed out Senior Day with a victory. 

Tarleton State will be back in action Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Arlington, Texas as the UT Arlington Mavericks host the Texans for the final conference games of the season. 

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