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Bunch Earns First Career Victory as Pirates Split at McMurry

Bunch Earns First Career Victory as Pirates Split at McMurry

ABILENE, Texas - Head Coach JC Bunch earned his first career coaching victory as the Southwestern University baseball team earned a split at McMurry University, winning game one 6-5 (7) before a come-from-behind effort fell short in a 12-10 loss.

Southwestern jumped out to an early lead thanks to a pair of big innings in the first and second innings. Junior Colby Schmidt got the scoring started with a RBI single followed by a RBI double from junior Cole Kelly to make it 2-0. Freshman Seth Sparks extended the lead to three after a sac fly to right.

The War Harks got a pair of runs back in the bottom half of the first, but Southwestern opened it up in the second inning as sophomore Daniel Montgomery Jr. singled home a pair of runs to make it a 5-2 game. Moments later, senior Jason McCormack drove in Montgomery and the Pirates had a 6-2 lead after two innings of play.

Junior Tyler Polasek (1-1) held off McMurry, going six complete, allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out a pair. Senior Riley Wayland (1) came in the final inning and held off a late McMurry rally for his first save of the year and the 6-5 win. 

Montgomery finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored while Kelly also went 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI. McCormack was 2-for-2 with two walks, a RBI, and a run scored while freshman Trey Schwarz went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored.

Tyler Jenkins (1-1) took the loss for the War Hawks while Nick Hamel led the way at the plate, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and a pair of RBIs.

In the second game, Southwestern opened up a 2-1 lead in the third behind RBIs from Kelly and Sparks, but the War Hawks would scored 10 runs in the next three innings to open up an 11-2 lead at the end of six innings.

Southwestern did not go down quietly, going for six runs in the seventh innings thanks in part to a three RBI double with the bases loaded by senior Ethan Hallmark. McMurry got one back in the bottom half of the seventh to extend the lead to four at 12-8.

Freshman Austin Smith tripeld home two runs in the ninth and the Pirates got the tying run to the plate, but McMurry escaped to even the series with the 12-10 win.

Kelly went 2-for-2 with three walks, two RBIs, and a run scored while Hallmark was 1-for-5 with three RBIs and a runs cored. Smith drove in a pair to go with two hits while Sparks drove in two as well. Sophomore Byron Dowdell II scored a pair of runs.

Five different pitchers took the mound for the Pirates with freshman Jacob Frankel earning the start, only lasting 2.1 innings and only allowing one run on one hit. Sophomore Tyler Hull (0-1) was tagged with the loss after an tough inning of work. Schwarz pitched two complete, allowing one run on one hits and striking out two.

Starter Ben Russell (1-0) got the win for McMurry while Matthew Chalk led the offense, going 2-for-5 with a double and five RBIs. Three different War Hawks went deep in the second game.

The two teams are scheduled to meet in the rubber match tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 PM.