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Austin Smith Dominates In First Extended Action of the Season

Southwestern University Pirates pitcher Austin Smith begins his throw towards the plate, wearing the Pirates' white uniforms with black pin stripes.
Photo by Mason Biggers

GEORGETOWN, Texas – In his first extended action of the season, junior pitcher Austin Smith dominated in the Southwestern University Pirates baseball team's 3-2 victory over the Middlebury College Panthers.

The reigning Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Pitcher of the Year threw a no-hitter through five innings, striking out 10, walking three, and hitting one batter before being relieved in the top of the sixth inning, picking up his first victory of the season.

Smith opened the game by striking out three of the first four batters he faced, hitting Andrew Hennings for the Panthers' lone base runner of the inning.

Southwestern scored all three of its runs with two outs in the bottom of the first. After Hayden Craig and Daniel Montgomery Jr. opened the inning with a ground out and pop up to third, Preston Witt followed with a double to center field. Byron Dowdell II drew a walk from the cleanup spot and Lance Kruse hit a RBI-single through the right side, scoring Witt.

With runners in the corners, Dowdell scored on a passed ball and Kruse advanced to second, scoring when Seth Sparks reached on a throwing error by third baseman Hayden Smith to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead.

Smith retired the Panthers in order in the second and kept building momentum. The 6-foot-3 junior from Cedar Park, Texas attacked the outside corner relentlessly, getting ahead in the count early and mixing up his pitches to great effect late.

He struck out the side in the third and fourth innings and the defense backed him up in the fifth, turning a 4-6-3 double play after Smith walked the leadoff batter, then closing the inning with a groundout to shortstop.

Smith faced one batter in the sixth, walking Gray Goolsby, then exited the game after reaching his pitch limit for non-conference play.

Aaron Clark relieved Smith, striking out Brooks Carroll with Montgomery throwing out Goolsby trying to steal second on Carroll's swinging third strike.

With two outs, Clark walked Justin Han and surrendered a single to Henry Strmecki, putting two on with two outs. During the next at-bat, Han stole third and scored on a throwing error by Montgomery, advancing Strmecki to third, who scored on a wild pitch before Clark struck out Alec Ritch to end the inning.

Clark walked two in the top of the seventh, ending his night with two on and one out, giving way to Trey Schwarz, who induced a fly out to left and struck out Carroll to earn the save, improving the Pirates' record to 5-4.