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Southwestern edges No. 4 Trinity behind Polasek's strong performance

Southwestern edges No. 4 Trinity behind Polasek's strong performance

SAN ANTONIO – Tyler Polasek hurled seven shutout innings, and the Southwestern baseball team toppled fourth-ranked Trinity in the series finale, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon.

Polasek (1-0) limited the Tigers (16-4, 2-1 SCAC) to only three singles. The left-hander also struck out three before handing the ball over to the bullpen.

Riley Wayland started the eighth inning, but allowed two runs and retired one batter before Clayton Sparks came on. Sparks, who made his first appearance of the season on Sunday, worked 1.1 scoreless frames.

Joshua Bray then entered the game with runners on the corners and forced Colin Serkowski to fly out to Colten Shea in left field to end the game. Bray also picked up his first collegiate save.

Teddy Turner (2-1) was handed the loss despite going the distance for Trinity. The right-hander scattered seven hits and gave up three runs while striking out eight.

The Pirates (5-15, 1-2 SCAC) distributed the seven hits allowed by Turner over seven hitters in the lineup.

Southwestern also scored all three of its runs in the fourth inning.

Ethan Luna led off the stanza with a walk. He then stole second base. Luna was forced to stay at second base on Austyn Laird's single to left field that dropped in after Jeremy Wolf was unable to fight off the sun. Sparks then laid down a sacrifice bunt, pushing both runners into scoring position. Tyler Bludau followed with a two-run double down the left-field line. Ethan Hallmark attempted to reach on a bunt, but was thrown out at first base, allowing Bludau to advance to third. The senior backstop took advantage of a wild pitch from Turner and slid across the plate to cap the scoring.

After the Tigers plated two runs in the eighth, the hosts threatened again in the final inning.

George Haaland was hit by a pitch from Sparks to start the inning. He then was moved to second on Jake Martin's sacrifice bunt. Andrew Walters flied out to right field that allowed Haaland to move over to third base. Connor Moore then coaxed a walk to put runners on the corners. Bray entered the game for the Pirates and induced a fly out to clinch the victory.

Southwestern will continue its road trip on Tuesday, March 22, with a stop at Texas-Tyler. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

• Sunday's win was the sixth in the past two years over a nationally-ranked team.
• It also marked the third win over a top-5 squad in the same span.
• Clayton Sparks, who hurled 1.1 scoreless innings on Sunday, has made only three appearances on the mound in his three years with the Pirates.
• Following seven shutout innings on Sunday, Tyler Polasek has not allowed a run in his last three appearances.
• Polasek scoreless innings streak was stretched to 10.2 following Sunday's outing.
• Southwestern completed the three-game series against Trinity without committing an error.