GEORGETOWN - The Southwestern University baseball team opened the 2018 season under new Head Coach JC Bunch against East Texas Baptist at the Rockwell Family Baseball Field in front of a great crowd on a beautiful night. However, the Pirates offense would struggle as the Tigers played spoiler on opening night, defeating the Pirates 5-1 on Friday evening.
ETBU got off to a fast start in the first inning as back-to-back RBIs including a RBI triple gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Junior Colby Schmidt led the second inning off with a double to ignite something for the Pirates. Freshman Seth Sparks put the first runs of the season on the board for SU as he singled home Schmidt with two outs to cut the deficit in half.
Despite some sturggles, Southwestern had opportunities. The Pirates put a pair of runners on with one out; however, a line out to center followed by a fielders choice ended the threat and kept the score at 2-1.
ETBU responded with the second RBI triple of the day from Zach Gartner in the fifth as well as a sac fly in the sixth to move ahead 4-1. Sparks got things going in the seventh inning with a lead off double to right center. However, Southwestern could not muster anything up and went down quietly.
The Tigers tacked on one final insurance run in the eighth and held on for the 5-1 win.
Junior left Tyler Polasek (0-1) and overcame a slow start, pitching 5.1 innings, allowing four runs on six hits to go with two strikeouts and four walks. Freshman Trey Schwarz added 2.1 innings of work, alllowing a run on two hits including two strikeouts while freshman Jacob Frankel pitched an impressive 1.1 innings, striking out three and allowing no hits.
Sparks finished 2-for-3 with a double and the lone RBI. Schmidt was 1-for-4 with a run scored while freshman Hayden Craig had the only other hit, going 1-for-3 at the plate.
Blake Corbin (1-1) got the win for ETBU in five innings of work while Alek Arellano and Jordan O'Bannon provided excellent relief out of the pen, combining for three innings and allowing only a single hit. Gartner finished 2-for-5 with two triples and two RBIs while Seth Mikeska added a 2-for-2 day with a double and two RBIs.
The Pirates fall to 0-1 on the young season, but will continue the three game series with the Tigers tomorrow as they will play in doubleheader beginning at 1 PM at Rockwell Family Baseball Field in Georgetown.