GEORGETOWN, Texas – Southwestern University Pirates' starting pitcher Austin Smith suffered his worst outing of the season as the baseball team lost to the Centenary Gents 10-7.
Smith struck out three of four in the top of the first but allowed two on in each of the next two innings, giving up a single and a walk in the second and a double and a walk in the third. Flirting with danger caught up with Southwestern in the top of the fourth.
Tyler Welch led the inning off with a single up the middle. Smith recovered to get Charlie Albritton and Shane Salzman to ground out, with Welch advancing a base on each grounder. Shortstop Andrew Russell drew a walk to put runners on the corners and a wild pitch scored Welch.
Chris Haggard drew a walk and Cody Crowder hit a RBI-single through the left side to score Russell and give the Gents a 2-0 lead.
After leaving five stranded through the first three innings, the Pirates broke through in the bottom of the fourth on Hayden Craig's sacrifice fly, scoring Ethan Hallmark, who led the inning off with a single and advanced to third when Seth Sparks reached on an error.
Smith had his worst inning of the season in the fifth after inducing a pop up to start the inning with an out. The Gents caught fire, getting back-to-back singles from Brandon Griffin and Welsh to setup Allbritton's two-RBI double through the left side of the infield.
Centenary hit another two consecutive singles, scoring Allbritton on Russell's single to left field.
Haggard grounded out to second base, moving the runners over to second and third, setting up a Salzman score on a wild pitch. Crowder followed with a RBI-single to center field, ending Smith's afternoon with Machi Horne coming in relief to get out of the inning.
Smith pitched 4.2 innings, giving up seven earned runs on 11 hits and four walks with four strikeouts to pick up his first loss of the season, falling to 7-1.
The Pirates made things interesting in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with no outs, ending starting pitcher Andy Purpura's evening in favor of Connor Cudd.
After falling behind 2-2 in the count, Craig fouled off four consecutive pitches, staying alive until Cudd delivered two balls to walk in a run. Chase Thinger scored Hallmark at a costly price, grounding into a 4-6-3 double play.
Ted Lobkowicz followed with a RBI-single to right field, scoring Sparks, Daniel Montgomery Jr. was hit by a pitch, and Cole Kelly singled to center field to score Lobkowicz, ending Cudd's night as the Gents turned to Connor Lee.
Lee surrendered a RBI-single through the left side but struck out Colby Schmidt to get out of the inning with a 7-6 lead.
Centenary extended the lead in the top of the eighth, loading the bases, which brought Montgomery to the mound from third. Montgomery dove for a ball hit up the middle but was unable to make the force out at the plate, scoring Guin. The Pirates were able to get the lead runner force out at home on Salzman's fielder's choice the but Centenary added another run on a failed double play attempt, scoring Welch, who reached on an error.
The Gents added another run on a passed ball in the top of the ninth and the Pirates scored on a RBI-single to right field by Sparks before Lee ended the game to pick up the save.
With the loss, the Pirates drop to 22-16 on the season and 9-7 in conference while Centenary improve to 17-20-1 and 9-7. Both teams will resume play tomorrow with a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m.