BELTON, Texas - After a 16 day layoff primarily due to weather issues, the Southwestern University baseball team was finally able to return to the diamond as they traveled north to take Mary Hardin-Baylor, knocking off the Crusaders 6-4 on Tuesday night.
The bats took no breaks in the last two weeks as they Pirates took an early lead in the first. Sophomore Daniel Montgomery Jr. led off with a single while freshman R.J. Senining followed with a walk. After a passed ball moved both runners into scoring position, senior Jason McCormack drove in one on a RBI groundout.
Moments later, Senining scored on a passed ball to give Southwestern a 2-0 lead.
In the second inning, sophomore Byron Dowdell II led off with a single and stole second. Senior Ethan Hallmark drove him home with a RBI double down the left field line as the Pirates jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
It would be a pich-by-committee type of evening for Southwestern as they tried to get numerous arms some work. Junior Tyler Polasek got the start and went two innings, allowing one run in the bottom of the second to make it a 3-1 game, but also striking out three.
Sophomore Colton Hunter took the rubber next and pitched two innings, allowing only one hit and striking out one. Sophomore Ian Towle worked 1.2 innings of scoreless ball while junior Jordan Scott took the ball for the final 3.1 innings.
Still leading 3-1 in the seventh, Southwestern got runners on first and second with one down. McCormack came through again as he singled to right center, scoring one, and pushing the lead to 4-1. After a walk loaded the bases with two outs, freshman Seth Sparks and Dowdell drew back-to-back walks to make it a 6-1 game.
UMHB got one back in the seventh and threatened in the ninth with a pair runs, but Scott was able to finish it off, earning the save in the process, and giving the Pirates a 6-4 victory. Hunter was credited with the win, his first of the season. UMHB Bailey Whatley was tagged with the loss (0-2) as he pitched six complete.
McCormack was 1-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored while Montgomery was 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Both Sparks and Dowdell had a pair of hits, a double, and a RBI while Senining scored two runs while drawing two walks. The Pirates drew seven walks on the evening to go with their nine hits.
For UMHB, Cameron Wachsmann was 1-for-1 with a RBI triple in the ninth while Jeb Zolman was 2-for-4 with a double, a RBI, and a run scored.
Southwestern moves to 3-4 on the year and will look forward to playing at home for the first time since opening weekend on February 10th. They welcome in Millikin for a three game series beginning on Friday at 6 PM.