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Gritty Pitching Performances Fuel Baseball Victory over McMurry

Gritty Pitching Performances Fuel Baseball Victory over McMurry

GEORGETOWN, Texas – The Southwestern University Pirates baseball team got a gritty performance from its pitching staff, pulling out a 5-3 victory in Game 1 of a three-game home series against McMurry University.

Austin Smith and Machi Horne combined to strikeout 16 McMurry hitters and the Pirates put together 12 hits, getting a 3-for-5 one-run performance from leadoff hitter Craig Hayden.

In his second start, Smith followed up his Player-of-the-Week performance from Week 1 with six innings, giving up five hits and three earned runs while striking out nine to bring his season total up to 25. Smith struggled with his control at times, walking two, hitting four others, and getting in trouble at different spots.

Smith struck out the first batter he faced but then gave up consecutive singles. After a second strikeout, Smith surrendered a RBI-single to Josh Burnett, getting help from his defense when shortstop Chase Thinger threw out Nick Hamel trying to score on the play to end the inning with a 1-0 deficit.

Hayden Craig opened the bottom of the first with a leadoff single up the middle and steal and the Pirates showed patience at the plate, getting three walks around one out to score Craig on a base on balls drawn by Colby Schmidt to end McMurry starting pitcher Jack Poe's night, getting relieved by Chris Lewis.

Smith retired the side in the second, striking out two and inducing a groundout to first. Ethan Hallmark opened the bottom of the second with a double through the left side, eventually followed by a Chase Thinger RBI-triple to right-center for a 2-1 lead.

Poe and Smith battled through shutout third and fourth innings. McMurry had a three-up, three-down inning in the third while the Pirates left two stranded.

Smith got in trouble in the fourth, giving up a single, walking a batter, and hitting another to load the bases, then falling behind 3-0 in the count before recovering with three consecutive strikes to end the inning.

The Pirates picked up a RBI-single to center field from Seth Sparks in the fifth, scoring Kevin Stein, who reached on a double to right-center, for a 5-3 lead.

Smith got in trouble again in the sixth, hitting two, walking another, and giving up one run on a wild pitch and the tying one on a sacrifice fly before getting out of the inning. The Pirates responded with a RBI infield single from Byron Dowdell II, scoring Daniel Montgomery. A McMurry error added an insurance run to give the Pirates a 5-3 lead.

Machi Horne relieved Smith to start the seventh inning and was dominant with six strikeouts while retiring nine of the 11 batters he faced to preserve the Pirates' win and improve their record to 3-1. Both teams will compete in a doubleheader tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.