Pirates finish sweep; keep postseason hopes alive
SHERMAN, Texas – Keeping postseason hopes alive the Southwestern University baseball team finished a three-game sweep of Austin College Saturday winning game one 4-2 and taking the nightcap 4-1 in SCAC action from Baker Field.
Southwestern (10-22, 6-8) not only keeps its chances of reaching the SCAC Baseball Championships alive, but is playing its best baseball of the season. The Pirates claimed their second straight series and have now won four straight – the longest winning streak since claiming five straight March 19-26 during the 2011 season.
Game one saw the Pirates rally from a 1-0 deficit scoring four runs in the fifth inning en route to a 4-2 victory behind solid pitching from Jason Stading and Matt Litz. Stading earned his first win of the season going six strong innings and scattering just five hits.
The senior right-hander allowed both of the Austin runs however, just one was earned. Stading also struck out one and walked just one batter. Litz earned the save as he was one walk away from a perfect seventh.
Colten Shea drove in a pair of runs to cap the four run fifth inning after Jake Pawelek singled home Will Cates. Cates had doubled to lead-off the inning as Pawelek touched home on a balk from the 'Roo pitcher.
The Pirates were held to just three hits in the game as they all came in the fifth inning.
The night cap saw the Pirates explode offensively for 11 hits as Clayton Sparks drove home three. Sparks finished game two, 3-for-4 as Cates also finished with three hits going 3-for-4.
Solid starting pitching from both teams kept the game scoreless until the sixth inning when a lead-off walk by Will Burks started the Pirate rally. After a Pawelek single, Burks scored on a single up the middle from Sparks.
Tyler Bludau singled home Pawelek after an Austin pitching change to put Southwestern ahead, 2-0.
Sparks added two more RBIs in the top of the seventh inning when he scored Zach Lynch and Cates. A single into left scored the two Pirates all with two outs.
Jacob Kendra was impressive on the mound again as he won his fourth game of the season going six innings and allowing just five hits. He was charged with the only run of the game for the 'Roos coming in the sixth before giving way to Carl Mueller.
Mueller earned his first save of the season pitching the final three innings and holding Austin to just one hit. He also struck out four and walked none as he upped his team leading strikeout total to 31.
Southwestern will go for its fifth in a row Tuesday against Hardin-Simmons stepping outside of conference play for the week. First pitch from Rockwell Field is set for 6 p.m.