CLEBURNE, Texas - The No. 4 seeded Southwestern University baseball team pulled a huge upset, knocking off the top-seeded Centenary Gents on Friday afternoon in Game 1 of the SCAC Baseball Championships at The Depot.
The win propels the Pirates into the winner's bracket game at 1 PM tomorrow as they take on the winner of Trinity and Texas Lutheran with a spot in the SCAC Championship Game on the line.
It was a battle early on between sophomore Colton Hunter and Kaleb Kirk of the Gents with both pitchers doing an excellent job stiffling the opposing hitters.
The Pirates would get things started in the fourth inning. With two down, senior Ethan Hallmark got things rolling with a walk followed by back-to-back singles by seniors Riley Wayland and Jason McCormack to load the bases. Freshman Hayden Craig stepped to the plate and laced a single up the middle, scoring two runs, and give the Pirates the early 2-0 advantage.
Hunter continued to work strong, going six complete with four strikeouts to only one walk. Centenary got one back in the sixth, but Southwestern maintained a 2-1 lead.
Freshman Austin Smith checked in and proceeded to keep the lead at 2-1 going into the ninth. However, the Gents got one back thanks to a Pirate miscue, tying the game at two. Centenary attempted a suicide squeeze with one out and the runner at third but a strikeout followed by a run down with the runner got out number three and forced extra innings.
This time, Smith and the Pirates finished things off, holding off the top of the lineup of the Gents and earning the huge victory.
It is the Pirates first win in their opening game of the SCAC Championship since 2005, when they defeated Rose-Hulman 13-6. Southwestern moves to 18-22 on the season and will prepare for their big game i the winner's bracket.