ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons' John Tople crushed a Ryan Cheatham pitch for a walk-off triple in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 4-3 American Southwest Conference win over UT Tyler at Hunter Field on Friday night.
Taylor Cooling drew a one-out walk in the ninth inning and then Tople blasted a 2-0 pitch to the deepest part of the park and it eventually hit off the wall and bounced back toward the infield. Cooling had to hold to make sure the ball wasn't caught and then he easily raced home when the ball came back toward the infield. Tople was right behind him and into third as Cooling was scoring for the rare walk-off triple.
The game was tight throughout the contest as both starters went deep into the game. Cheatham went the distance for the Patriots and allowed four earned runs on seven hits. He had not allowed an earned run on the year coming into the game.
Ty Engelhardt went seven strong innings for the Cowboys and scattered nine hits and allowed three runs. Eric Denby went one and two-third innings and Hayden Day came in and struck out the only batter he faced in the top of the ninth. He ended up with the win to move to 1-0.
Alex Bishop gave the Patriots a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI single after Josh Burns had led off with a triple. The Patriots made it 2-0 in the fourth on an RBI single by Jordan Antley.
HSU tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning on a Cooling RBI double and a sacrifice fly by Cody Berryman. Ben Romines gave the Patriots a 3-2 lead in the sixth with an RBI single and Cade Johnson tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth with a solo home run to right field.
Johnson and Tople had two hits each for the Cowboys and Blake Wilson, Bishop and Antley had two hits each for the Patriots.
The Cowboys are now 6-8 on the year and 4-3 in conference play. The Patriots fell to 9-6 overall and 1-3 in ASC play. The teams will play a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.
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