GEORGETOWN, Texas – The Southwestern University Pirates baseball team bounced back from its season-opening loss to defeat the Sul Ross State Lobos 12-4 in the first game of the Pirates' senior day doubleheader.
Leadoff hitter Hayden Craig led the Pirates with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored and relief pitcher John Sparks put together three scoreless innings, striking out six while giving up only one hit and one walk.
Craig started the Southwestern offense off with a leadoff single through the right side in the bottom of the first, later scoring on a Lance Kruse sacrifice fly to deep left field to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
For a second consecutive game, Sul Ross broke free in the top of the second, scoring four runs on four hits, getting a sacrifice bunt from Jared Lorenz to score Richard Bailey, who led the inning off with a single. After Jett Hartley hit a RBI single, Todd Tupper double to left field and Leech was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Starting pitcher Travis Harvey walked two more with bases loaded, giving way to Sparks, who got out of the inning without another run scored.
Byron Dowdell II followed with a RBI single through the left side and Daniel Montgomery jr. scored on a wild pitch. Seth Sparks ended the inning with a RBI double with Kruse being thrown out at the plate for a 5-4 lead.
Craig opened the lead up with a two-RBI single through the left side in the bottom of the third, scoring Debbs and Henry Fisher, who reached on a hit by pitch and walk.
After Sparks struck out three of four in the top of the fourth, the Pirates put together four runs in the bottom of the inning, getting a two-RBI double from Fisher, a Seth Sparks score on a wild pitch, and a RBI-single from Chase Thinger to centerfield, scoring Fisher.
Sparks held steady again in the fifth, leaving two stranded after striking out two and inducing a pop up to second base to get out of the inning. Sparks was masterful, showing confidence in his breaking ball in every situation, regardless of count, keeping the Lobos off balance to pick up the win.
With the win, the Pirates improved to 1-1, eventually taking the second game of the doubleheader to take the series 2-1. Southwestern will face Mary Hardin-Baylor on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 6:00 p.m.
For more SU Pirate photos, please see Carlos Barron Photography