BROWNWOOD, Texas – The Southwestern University Pirates baseball team surrendered a grand slam home run in a 9-6 loss to the Howard Payne University Yellow Jackets.
Southwestern struck first when Howard Payne starting pitcher John Cravey walked four of the first five batters, scoring leadoff hitter Hayden Craig on a Colby Schmidt walk. The Pirates added another run in the top of the first with Ethan Hallmark RBI-single to right field, scoring Cole Kelly.
The Yellow Jackets responded in the bottom of the inning with Noah Payne leading off with a triple to left field, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Jacob Rodriguez.
Ryan Richardson replaced Cravey in the top of the second, retiring the side in order and the Yellow Jackets tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a Rodriguez walk with bases loaded, scoring Keldon Crawford, who reached on a walk.
Howard Payne took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Starting pitcher Aaron Clark opened the inning with a walk, fly out, single, and walk to load the bases with one out. Relief pitcher Koba Kobayashi hit Crawford with bases loaded, scoring on run. Later in the inning, Cliff Lunceford hit a RBI-double to give the Yellow Jackets a 5-2 lead.
Howard Payne put the game away in the bottom of the seventh on a grand slam home run by Payne after the Yellow Jackets loaded the bases with a single and two walks.
Southwestern took advantage of wild pitching from Howard Payne in the top of the ninth, leading the inning off getting hit by a pitch twice and drawing two walks to score a run. Seth Sparks followed with a two-RBI double to bring the Pirates within three but Southwestern left three stranded to end the game.
Cole Kelly was 2-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored for the Pirates. Thinger was 3-for-5 with a RBI. Clark pitched 4.1 innings, giving up five hits and five runs with seven walks to pick up the loss and fall to 2-3.
With the loss, the Pirates drop to 22-14 on the season. Southwestern will close out its regular season with a three-game conference home series against Centenary starting with a single game on Friday, April 26 and a doubleheader on Saturday, April 27.