GEORGETOWN, Texas — The Southwestern University Pirates baseball team split today's doubleheader to take its three-game series against the McMurry University Warhawks two games to one.
Southwestern was rocked in the fifth and sixth inning of Game 1, a seven-inning game the Pirates lost 8-1. The team bounced back behind a strong performance from junior starting pitcher Colton Hunter, winning 5-2 to take the home series.
Southwestern starting pitcher Travis Harvey and McMurry's J.T. Barnes had a pitchers' duel early with four shutout innings until the Warhawks broke through in the fifth inning.
A first year, Harvey got the first start of his college career, having previously appeared in one shutout inning against Sul Ross State on Feb. 17.
The right-hander was strong early, retiring the side in the first two innings with two strikeouts and working his way out of after a walk and a hit put two on with two out in the third inning. Harvey got through the fourth unscathed with the defense sitting down three of the four batters faced that inning. The lone baserunner reached on an error.
Despite the clean box score, McMurry showed some life in their at-bats in the previous two innings, getting some solid shots but hitting them directly to the defense.
McMurry broke through in the fifth inning, scoring three runs on four hits with two outs. Kyle Strickland reached on a leadoff single to left field and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, scoring on Mike Gonzales' RBI-single to center field after Harvey induced a fly out from Jordan Speck. Nick Hamel followed with an infield single and Sam Hillyer pulled the ball down the left side for a two-RBI double for a 3-0 lead.
The Warhawks took advantage of two errors in the sixth, stringing together four hits for a five-run inning.
Barnes went the distance on the mound for McMurry, pitching all seven innings while giving up just five hits with five strikeouts and one earned run—a solo home run from Daniel Montgomery jr.
The Pirates hit just 5-for-26 with Montgomery hitting 2-for-3 with the home run. Harvey pitched 5.1 innings, giving up seven hits and six runs with five being earned and two strikeouts. Ruben Garcia pitched 0.2 innings, giving up two hits and two runs with one earned. William Harp closed the game out for Southwestern, pitching the final inning and giving up just one hit.
Southwestern pitcher Colton Hunter was dominant to start Game 3, retiring 12 of the first 13 batters he faced to go the distance in a nine-inning, complete-game 5-2 victory.
Hunter set the tone early, striking out the first two McMurry hitters and five of the first eight, finishing with eight strikeouts.
After getting shutdown in the previous game, the Pirates' offense came to life early, scoring three runs on a two-RBI double to right field from Byron Dowdell II, scoring himself when McMurry tried to throw him out advancing an extra base, committing an error.
The Pirates drew six walks in all, scoring an economical five runs on their six hits.
McMurry made things interesting in the fifth inning, cutting their deficit in half with two runs to bring the score to 4-2. Hunter alternated hits and strikeouts through the first four hitters, giving up a leadoff single up the middle from Blaine McRay and a RBI-double from Payton Stokes after striking out Strickland.
Stokes then scored on a RBI single from J. Jimenez before the defense could end the inning.
Even as he went late into the game, losing a little on his payoff pitches, Hunter was able to keep McMurry hitters off balance, inducing easy grounders and fly outs; getting out of trouble in the sixth after giving up back-to-back singles to start the inning.
Seth Sparks added an insurance run in the eighth inning on a RBI-double to right field, scoring Hallmark and Hunter ended the game in the top of the ninth inducing two consecutive groundouts.
With the win, the Pirates improve to 4-2 and will host the University of Texas-Dallas on Tuesday, March 5 at 6:00 p.m.