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Pirates Sweep Austin College with Walk-Off Grand Slam

Pirates Sweep Austin College with Walk-Off Grand Slam

GEORGETOWN, Texas -- Daniel Montgomery Jr. hit a towering blast to end the game on a walk-off grand slam home run to complete the Southwestern University Pirates baseball team's three-game sweep of the Austin College Kangaroos, winning 14-3 in eight innings.

Southwestern got a complete game from starting pitcher Colton Hunter and scored nine runs over the seventh and eighth innings, finishing with 14 hits and 10 walks.

Hunter set the tone on the mound early,  attacking the outside corner and working the edges and outside of the strike zone to recalibrate his opponent's sense of it, disorienting hitters.

The Pirates' offense loaded up early, going through the entire order in the bottom of the first inning with five hits and four runs. Southwestern found its hits through more precision than power in the first, finding the gaps in the infield with laser-guided grounders.

Ted Lobkowicz led off the bottom of the first in the same fashion he did Game 1 from Friday's doubleheader, sneaking a grounder past second baseman Jake Webster. Montgomery drew a walk, setting up a Cole Kelly RBI-double over the left-center fence on a hop to score Lobkowicz.

Colby Schmidt followed with a screaming grounder past Austin College shortstop Nick Flynn's shoe tops, scoring Montgomery and advancing Schmidt to second on the throw from the outfield.

Bryce Debs added another RBI with a groundout to shortstop with runners on second and third, scoring Kelly. Ethan Hallmark and Seth Sparks continued the momentum with back-to-back singles through the infield with Hallmark picking up a RBI for a 4-0 lead.

Austin College made adjustments to Hunter in its second trip through the lineup in the top of the third, getting four consecutive singles after striking out leadoff hitter Jeff Hynes in the eighth spot. Webster put the Kangaroos on the board with a shot just under the diving glove of Montgomery at third, scoring Bennett Reagan.

Cody Goggins added another, finding the gap between first and second with a grounder to score Oscar Gonzalez. James Wyche brought the Kangaroos to within one, hitting a shot up the middle to score Brett Taff to bring the score to 4-3.

After a conference with pitching coach Scott Lacey on the mound, Hunter regained his composure, switching his approach to lead with breaking pitches inside to strike out Flynn and get out of the inning.

The Pirates put two on in the bottom of the third but left both stranded, ending the inning by grounding out into a 6-4-3 double play.

Southwestern loaded the bases in the fourth with Colby Schmidt drawing a walk to add an insurance run before leaving three stranded, giving the Pirates a 5-3 lead.

Montgomery bookended the top of the fifth inning with big plays, using his body to knock down a sharply hit grounder to start the inning and speed to get to a lightly hit one, giving the Pirates a pair of 5-3 outs to leave two stranded and preserve their 5-3 lead.

Southwestern added another run in the seventh when Chase Thinger's shot up the middle hit the pitcher's mound and second base, changing the trajectory of the grounder at the last second past the second baseman's glove to score Seth Sparks. Lobkowicz followed with a RBI-single to right field, scoring Thinger.

Montgomery walked to load the bases and Kelly hit a three-RBI double with Montgomery beating the throw by diving head first across home plate. Byron Dowdell II hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Lobkowicz and give the Pirates a 10-3 lead.

Working past the century mark on his pitch count, Hunter proved as strong as ever, retiring the side for the first time in the top of the eighth inning with two strikeouts and a pop fly to second.

Debbs started the eighth taking a pitch in the back to get to first. After an Ethan Hallmark fly out, Sparks doubled through the left sided and Lobkowicz walked to load the bases. Austin College pitched around Montgomery for most of his first three at-bats, not intentionally walking the conference leader in home runs but not giving him anything comfortably in the strike zone either, walking him in two of his first three at bats.

With the bases loaded and nowhere left to put Montgomery, however, a direct confrontation could no longer be avoided. Montgomery didn't disappoint, smashing a shot that sent the home crowd into celebration the moment it left the bat; triggering the 10-run rule with his grand slam. 

Hunter went all eight innings, striking out eight with four walks, nine hits, and three earned runs. Lobkowicz was key in the leadoff spot, hitting 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored and a RBI. Kelly was 3-for-3 with four RBI, two runs, and two walks. Sparks was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk.

With the win, the Pirates improve to 13-6 on the season and 4-2 in conference play. Southwestern will take a break from conference play to travel to Hardin-Simmons on Tuesday, March 26 at 6:00 p.m.