Above photo by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru/russellmarwitz.com
GEORGETOWN, Texas- The UMHB baseball team continued its strong production at the plate Tuesday night, scoring 13 runs. Southwestern countered with five more, however, to earn an 18-13 non-conference victory, as the two opponents combined for 36 hits in a game that spanned a lengthy three hours and 41 minutes.
The hitting began early on for both squads, with UMHB scoring four runs in the top of the second inning, highlighted by Malek Bolin’s single to left field that brought two runs across the plate. The Pirates tallied four of their own in the bottom of the inning, tying the score, before the Crusaders went back in front, 5-4, in the fourth.
But Southwestern’s 12-run fourth inning outburst, in which the Pirates brought 17 batters to the plate, put the hosts in the driver’s seat for the remainder of the nine-inning contest. UMHB was forced to change pitchers three times, but struggled to keep Southwestern at bay.
The Cru pushed five across in the sixth, and three more in the eight, scoring 10-plus runs for the third time in the last two weeks. But the Pirates maintained the lead, eventually closing it out in the ninth, moving to 7-5 on the year. UMHB dropped to 8-7 after sweeping Austin College over the weekend in Belton.
Here’s a closer look at how Tuesday’s game played out:
Cru’s young players earned quality experience: A number of UMHB’s newcomers saw action on Tuesday night, improving the depth on the team, and gaining experience for the future, even looking beyond this season. Josh Gonzales performed exceptionally well at the plate, coming in to play third base. He went 1-for-2, bringing in UMHB’s final runs of the contest on a two-out base hit in the eighth. Freshman shortstop Garrett Gregory earned a start, and went 1-for-2, with a run scored. On the mound, freshman Isaac Brann was the only Crusader reliever to hold Southwestern scoreless, throwing 2.0 innings, striking out three.
Confidence at the plate: The 13-run performance was an exceptional follow-up to UMHB’s performance over the weekend, and the Cru hit extremely well, making contact and moving baserunners up. UMHB had just three extra-base hits- two doubles and a triple- and zero stolen bases, but took advantage of scoring opportunities with runners on base.
What Needs Improvement
The pitching staff struggled but will look to build upon the performance. Southwestern tallied 23 hits off seven pitchers, five of whom threw one inning or less. The Pirates took advantage of seven walks, and had six extra-base hits.
UMHB hosts seventh-ranked UT-Dallas on Friday and Saturday at Red Murff Field in Belton. Friday’s game begins at 6 p.m. and Saturday’s doubleheader has a first pitch of 12 p.m., against the Comets, who are 15-2 overall.