GEORGETOWN - After dropping the first game, and ultimately the series, on Sunday, the Southwestern University baseball team went into the final game of the series with their backs against the wall, needing a win to keep their postseason dreams alive.
The Pirates got just that, jumping out to an early lead and never looking back as they defeated the 14th-ranked Texas Lutheran Bulldogs by the score of 6-4 on Sunday afternoon at Rockwell Field.
Southwestern concludes their SCAC season at 7-11 and will now need the Bulldogs help going into next weekend. If Texas Lutheran can sweep Austin College, the Pirates will punch their ticket into the SCAC Championships.
After a 1-2-3 first, Southwestern started hot at the plate. After back-to-back singles, sophomore Byron Dowdell II singles down the left field line for a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, senior Ethan Hallmark came through with an infield single to score one.
TLU got one back in the second before Southwestern pushed their lead out to 4-1 thanks to a RBI singles from sophomore Daniel Montgomery Jr. and a sac fly from freshman Seth Sparks. The Bulldogs scored one more in the fifth, but RBIs from Hallmark and senior Riley Wayland made it a 6-2 game after five.
The Pirates rode the arm of freshman Austin Smith as well as Montgomery in relief to hold off any Bulldog rally and earn the 6-4 win. Smith pitched 8.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and striking out eight while Montgomery earned the save for his appearance in 0.2 innings, striking out one.
Hallmark finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored while Wayland was 2-for-4 with a RBI. Montgomery added a 2-for-4 day with a RBI and run scored while freshman Hayden Craig was 1-for-3 with a double and run scored.
In the first contest of the day, Texas Lutheran opened up a 5-1 lead, but Southwestern cut it to 5-4 early in the third inning. However, the Pirate bats went cold as TLU added two more in the eighth to take a 7-4 win and clinch the series.
Sparks was 2-for-4 on the day with a RBI and runs scored while junior Colby Schmidt was 1-for-3 with a solo shot. Dowdell added a 1-for-4 day with a triple, RBI and run scored while junior Cole Kelly was 1-for-3 with a RBI.
The Pirates moves to 16-20 overall and 7-11 in SCAC play as they play the waiting game with the huge Austin-TLU series approaching. For now, the Pirates will focus on closing the rest of the regular season as they take on Texas-Tyler on the road on Tuesday at 6 PM.