Above photo of Nicklas Fenner (UMHB’s starting pitcher on Tuesday) by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru
SAN ANTONIO- The UMHB baseball team may have been swept by ETBU in Marshall this past weekend. But the Cru appeared right at home on the road Tuesday night, taking down a Top 25 opponent for the first time in 2023, handing 24th-ranked Trinity (TX) a 4-3 loss.
Playing its 11th straight road game, UMHB maintained a consistent offensive presence, and the Crusader pitching staff held the Tigers to their fewest runs in a game since a 15-3 loss to UT-Dallas on Mar. 7.
Seven different pitchers took the mound for the Cru over the course of the nine-inning duel, with only starter Nicklas Fenner firing 2.0 innings. He allowed just two baserunners in that span, before Bryce Farlander completed a scoreless third inning. Erick Roberts and Jacob Haynes each struck out two batters, while Cameron Bogan, the fifth pitcher to take the mound, earned the win. Alex Palczewski, who completed the win in a scoreless final inning, tallied the save.
Tyler Betts solidified his spot at the top of the order for UMHB, as the freshman outfielder went a perfect 4-for-4 in the leadoff spot with a run scored. It marked Betts’ first hits in 10 days, as he tallied three hits in a Mar. 18 win over McMurry before going 0-for-4 in his lone appearance in the ETBU series on Friday night.
Hayden Guerin had a 3-for-5 performance at the plate, in addition to 2-for-4 stat lines from both Elijah Rodriguez and Rhett Grosz. The Cru did not tally a single extra base hit in the win, but moved runners around through exceptional situational awareness, aided by four walks and seven stolen bases. Three of those stolen bases came from Betts.
UMHB took the first lead of the contest in the fourth inning, when Rodriguez, a freshman catcher, singled up the middle on a 3-2 count, driving in Grosz and Guerin for a 2-0 advantage. It marked Rodriguez’s third hit in the last two games.
Trinity countered with a pair of runs between the fifth and sixth innings, as a wild pitch scored Khal Conley and Hunter Nevilles’ RBI base hit brought Jack Peterson home, tying the score at two apiece in the bottom of the sixth.
UMHB’s counter came quickly.
Hunter Jones’ RBI groundout provided the go-ahead run with two runners in scoring position, as Carson Hagan scored in the seventh. One batter later, Guerin’s single up the middle brought Betts across the plate, and for the second time in the evening, UMHB led by two runs.
Peterson tagged from third on a flyout from Nevilles in the eighth, but that was the last of Trinity’s offense. A three-up, three-down ninth inning from Palczewski sealed the victory for the visitors from Belton.
A much-needed–and well-deserved–home series follows Tuesday’s win, as UMHB hosts LeTourneau in an ASC series on Friday and Saturday. LETU is currently 6-6 in league play.