AUSTIN, Texas — Hardin-Simmons' baseball took sole possession of first place in the American Southwest Conference West Division with a doubleheader sweep of Concordia on Saturday afternoon in Austin. HSU won the first game 8-6 in eight innings and won the nightcap 6-3 in seven innings.
The first game started out as a slugfest as it was 4-4 after two innings of play. The Cowboys scored two runs in the first on a double play ball with the bases loaded and a Troy Tarrant RBI triple. Concordia came back in the bottom of the first and scored four runs on five hits.
The Cowboys' bullpen then took over the game. Trevor Stringer allowed one unearned run over three innings of work. He came in the third inning after a Justin Beasley home run chased Cowboy starter Blake Sieck. Sieck allowed five runs on eight hits in two innings of work.
HSU took the lead at 6-5 with a pair of runs in the fifth inning on a two-run double by Tarrant, but the Cowboys gave up an unearned run in the sixth to retie the game at 6-6. The run came when Matt McManemin was hit to lead off the inning and he moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt. HSU brought the infield in and Brent Schaekel hit a grounder to Weeks and the Cowboys got McManemin in a run down but catcher Chris Matthews threw the ball away to allow the run to score. Schaekel moved to third and the Cowboys went to relief ace James Simmons.
Simmons struck out Colton Gommert and then after an intentional walk Collin Janssen hit into a double play to end the inning. The seven-inning game went to the eighth inning and the Cowboys scored a pair of runs. Troy Tarrant drew a bases loaded walk and Andrew Rehling had an RBI single.
Simmons worked three innings and allowed just one hit and struck out three to move to 5-1 on the year. Bryant Hernandez allowed two runs on two hits and four walks in two innings of work to take the loss.
Edwards had four hits for the Cowboys and Tarrant had two hits and drove in four runs. Schaekel had three hits for Concordia.
In the second game, the Cowboys picked up a run when Jon Finney doubled with two outs and nobody on and then Joey Dearing followed with an RBI single. After the half-inning the teams waited out a 30-minute weather delay.
After the delay, Concordia scored a pair of runs. Kyle Bieschke doubled right after the delay and he scored on a Bucky Bryant double.McManemin then singled home Bryant. In the fourth inning, Bryant led off with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt. Bryant then broke for third and Cody Jarboe's throw went into left field to give Concordia a 3-1 lead.
HSU tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the sixth inning. Jay Hiller led off with a solid single to left and Weeks beat an infield single. They moved up on a wild pitch and both scored on a two-run single by Taylor Berlin.
The Cowboys took the lead at 4-3 in the seventh inning. Austin Cantwell had a pinch-hit single with one out. LeJuan Edwards and Jay Hiller then each had singles, Hiller's was an infield single to lead the bases. Concordia cut down Cantwell on a fielder's choice by Weeks and Berlin followed with his fourth hit of the game a single to left to drive in Edwards. The hit chased Concordia starter Pedro Maldanado.
Tarrant then greeted Gerry Morrison with a blast off the top of the double-decker fence in left field for a two-run double to give the Cowboys some breathing room.
The Cowboy bullpen was again excellent as Troy Nicholson, Tyler Brunnemann and James Simmons worked four hitless, scoreless innings in relief of Kyle D'Alessio, who allowed two earned runs in three plus innings of work. Brunnemann (2-1) got the win and Simmons earned his second save.
Berlin had four hits in the second game and he drove in three. Hiller added two hits. Bryant had two of Concordia's five hits.
The Cowboy bullpen in the series went 11 and one-third innings and allowed only three hits and one unearned run.
HSU is now 20-6 on the year and lead the ASC West with a record of 7-2. Concordia fell to 14-11 overall and to 6-3 in ASC West play. HSU is off until next weekend when it hosts Howard Payne.
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