GEORGETOWN, Texas – A late rally fell one run short as the Southwestern University Pirates baseball team lost 13-12 to the Sul Ross State Lobos in their season opener.
The Pirates went through eight pitchers as the Southwestern pitching staff struggled with its control in the first few innings.
In total, Southwestern walked 14 batters and hit five others to give Sul Ross State 19 free runners.
Starter Colton Hunter went just two-thirds of an inning in a no-decision appearance, surrendering one hit with one walk and one hit batter, giving way to Luke Richards, who got out of the inning with bases loaded.
Richards struggled in the second inning, giving Ochoa a leadoff walk and compounding the matter with a bad throw on a pickoff attempt, advancing Ochoa to third. After Jeff Hartley was hit by a pitch, Tupper laid down a sacrifice bunt, scoring Ochoa.
After a passed ball and walk put runners in the corners for Sul Ross State, a double stead scored Hartley. After another Pirate error, Johnson scored two on a double to left field. In all, the Lobos scored six runs on three hits and two errors in the top of the second.
A sacrifice fly to centerfield scored Bailey for the Lobos in the third and after the Pirates walked the bases loaded to start the fourth, Bailey hit a three-RBI double and later scored a run on a Marques sacrifice fly to give Sul Ross State an 11-2 lead after four.
The Pirates scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh getting a leadoff double from Fisher and walk from Thinger, scoring Fisher on a balk. After an error and a walk, Lance Kruse hit a two-RBI single.
After giving up an insurance run to the Lobos in the top of the eighth, the Pirates scored six in the bottom of the inning, taking advantage of three hits and three errors, getting a two-RBI double from Senining.
Sul Ross State scored once more in the top of the ninth on an error, giving the Lobos the deciding run. Hayden Craig hit a two-out triple and scored on a balk in the bottom of the ninth but the tying run struck out swinging.
The Pirates finished with nine hits and five errors, leaving eight on base while the Lobos stranded 16. Kruse led the Pirates with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate, scoring two RBIs with one run scored. Senining matched his run production with two RBIs and a run scored on a 1-for-4 night at the plate.
Southwestern and Sul Ross State will conclude their series with a double header tomorrow starting at 1:00 p.m. with the Pirates honoring seniors Daniel Montgomery Jr., Byron Dowdell II, and Hunter for senior day.
For more SU Pirate photos, please see Carlos Barron Photography