The Long Ball Dominates as Southwestern and ETBU Split Day 1 Doubleheader

The Long Ball Dominates as Southwestern and ETBU Split Day 1 Doubleheader

MARSHALL, Texas – The Southwestern University Pirates baseball team split its doubleheader against the East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) Tigers with the three-game series to be decided tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.

Game 1 | Southwestern University 13, ETBU 0

In the first game, the Pirates showcased their power on the mound and at the plate, hitting four homeruns and getting a complete-game shutout from starting pitcher Austin Smith.

Cole Kelly set the tone with a three-run blast in the top of the first inning—his first of the season—scoring Ted Lobkowicz and Daniel Montgomery Jr., who reached on a walk and an error. The three runs would have been enough for Smith, who was dominant on the pitcher's mound, but it was only the beginning for the Southwestern offense.

Chad Thinger and Hayden Craig opened the second inning with back-to-back walks with Thinger scoring on a RBI-single by Lobkowicz to center field; ending ETBU starting pitcher Derrick Findley's afternoon. Zackery Pierce was tabbed to replace Findley, facing SCAC homerun leader Daniel Montgomery, who hit his eighth of the season with another three-run shot to score Lobkowicz and Craig.

Kelly followed with a double to left field , Byron Dowdell II drew a walk, and Colby Schmidt singled through the left side to load the bases, setting up two unearned runs when Seth Sparks' grounder to shortstop was misplayed, scoring Dowdell and Kelly to give the Pirates a 9-0 lead.

Dowdell added another run in the third with a RBI-single to left field, scoring Craig, who reached on a walk.

The Pirates' long ball emerged as a weapon again in the top of the sixth when Schmidt hit a two-run homerun off third ETBU pitcher Daniel Rubio, bringing Dakota Courtney to the mound for the Tigers. Ethan Hallmark welcomed him with a solo shot for his first homerun of the season for the 13-0 lead.

Offensively, ETBU struggled to get anything going against Smith. The Pirates' ace surrendered a leadoff single and hit another batter in the first inning but struck out the other three batters he faced to get out of the inning unscathed.

Smith retired three of four in the second, giving up one walk and striking out two more.

The Pirate defense backed its pitcher in the third, turning a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning after Smith followed giving up a leadoff single with a strikeout.

Smith struggled with his control in the bottom of the fourth, walking three to load the bases, but also struck out two more and fielded a grounder to leave all three runners stranded. He returned to form in the bottom of the fifth, retiring three of the four batters faced. He carried that momentum into the sixth and seventh innings, retiring the side in both.

Smith went all seven innings, striking out 10 with four walks and three hits to remain undefeated at 4-0 this season. Both Montgomery and Kelly hit 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored for the Pirates. Dowdell was 2-for-3 with a RBI and two run scored and Schmidt was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.

Game 2 | Southwestern 3, ETBU 6

Starting pitcher Colton Hunter was mostly untouchable through the first seven innings but faltered in the bottom of the eighth as the Pirates lost 6-3.

Hunter retired six of the first seven batters he faced but surrendered a leadoff homerun to Seth Mikeska in the bottom of the second. Dowdell tied the game for the Pirates in the top of the third, doubling to left field and scoring on an error by the catcher. Hunter gave up another run in the bottom of the inning with a Dylan Sumpter RBI-triple to center field, scoring Ford Spigener, who reached on a single, to retake the lead at 2-1.

The Pirate defense retired the side in the fourth and sixth innings and managed to leave three stranded in the bottom of the fifth.

Southwestern took the lead in the top of the seventh on a two-run homerun from Kelly, who went yard in his second consecutive game and Hunter struck out the side in the bottom of the inning.

Things unraveled in the eighth with Dylan Sumpter leading the inning off with a solo homerun and Mikeska hitting his second homerun of the game with a two-run blast, ending Hunter's night. Trey Schwarz replaced him, giving up a solo shot to Landen Barns before getting out of the inning.

The Pirates opened the top of the ninth with two outs but consecutive singles and a walk loaded the bases before relief pitcher Chad Boudreaux got out of the inning to deliver the save.

Hunter pitched 7.1 innings, giving up six hits and five earned runs with 12 strikeouts and three walks. Kelly was 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.

With the split, the Pirates ended the night 15-7 with ETBU holding an 18-9 record. The series will conclude tomorrow starting at 1:00 p.m.