Tarleton State Baseball takes down California Baptist to secure back-to-back wins in 2024 WAC Tournament


MESA, Ariz. – Texan Baseball remained perfect in postseason play, beginning the WAC Tournament 2-0 with a win over the 4-seed Lancers on Wednesday.

Tarleton State (29-28, 17-13 WAC) defeated California Baptist (34-23, 18-12 WAC) with a 5-3 final to send the fourth seed into the loser’s bracket. 

A competitive afternoon at Hohokam Stadium saw four lead changes across seven innings, with a trio of runs coming across for Tarleton State in the top of the eighth to take the cake for the Texans. The afternoon victory secured the first win for the Texans in the double-elimination round of the tournament.

Parrish Beagle got the start for the Purple and White with 2.1 innings pitched, giving up one run on two hits, no walks and two strikeouts. Jack Driskell (W, 2-1) earned his second win of the season after 3.0 innings on the bump, giving up no runs on two hits, one walk and one strikeout.

Lukas Pirko took the mound to start things off for CBU with 5.2 innings pitched, giving up two runs on six hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Nathan Hemmerling (L, 5-4) saw 3.1 innings on the bump, giving up three runs on four hits, one walk and two strikeouts. 

Tarleton State compiled five runs on 10 hits with a double from Cole Miears to lead the offensive efforts for the Texans. Kooper Shook and Ike Shirey each stole a base to contribute.

The Lancers totaled three runs on seven hits with a home run to lead the home team’s offense along with a double and a triple.

The opening frame saw a quick three up three down outing at the plate for each team.

Tarleton State drew first blood, putting up the first run in the second inning. Cris Enriquez singled as the leadoff to get things rolling for the visitors. Hunter Smith and Jordan Andrade singled to load the bases. Shook reached on a fielder’s choice as the Lancers secured two outs and the Texans saw Enriquez come home for the first run of the afternoon. 

In the bottom of the third inning, CBU tied things up, adding a run of their own to the board. A single started off the action for the Lancers and a double saw a pair of runners in scoring position. With one out recorded, the four-hole reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring the lead runner for the home team to tie things up at 1-1. 

The top of the fourth saw the Texans take back the lead. Miears walked as the leadoff and Enriquez singled through the right side to advance Miears to third. Smith reached on a fielder’s choice to score Miears for the second run.

In the bottom of the sixth, California Baptist saw a pair of runs come in to take the lead by a run. A leadoff homer in the opened up the inning. The first out followed and a triple added one to the base path. A line out scored the final run for the Lancers, temporarily handing the lead to the home team at 3-2. 

The top of the eighth saw a trio of runs change the momentum of the game in favor of the Purple and White. Shook singled to right field to start off the inning. Shirey singled to advance Shook to third and see a pair on. A stolen base from the Texans’ shortstop placed both runners into scoring position and Crews was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Hammonds reached on a fielder’s choice to score Shook and tie things up at 3-3. As the first out was recorded, Miears singled to score Shirey and Enriquez singled to score Hammonds, bringing the lead to 5-3 for the visitors. 

The ninth inning went scoreless across the board to solidify the Texans’ second win in the postseason. The Purple and White’s appearance in the WAC Tournament has matched the 2018 season’s postseason record at 2-0. In the 2018 season Tarleton State won two games in a row then dropped the next two. Another win for the Texans in the WAC Tournament would see the most postseason wins in over a decade. 

Tarleton State will take on the number one seed, Grand Canyon at 2 p.m. CT.

In the regular season series against the Lopes, the Purple and White secured the Friday night matchup to mark the Texans’ first ever win over Grand Canyon but dropped the last couple of games to go 1-2 on the weekend, seeing GCU take the series. 

A third win in tournament play over the Lopes would advance see the Texans take on the winner of the Utah Valley and Abilene Christian game on Friday at 2 p.m. CT. A loss to GCU would see Tarleton State due for a double header on Thursday, with the second game of the day setting up the Purple and White for a 9 p.m. CT matchup against UTRGV. 

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