ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons' baseball team defeated UT Dallas, 6-2, on Senior Day Sunday afternoon to take the American Southwest Conference series two games to one.
It was a big win for the Cowboys' chances to advance to the ASC Tournament in two weeks. The Cowboys are now 13-24 overall but 10-11 in conference play and HSU has a two-game lead over Howard Payne for that final ASC spot in the tournament.
The Cowboys received a great pitching performance from senior Chandler Carter in his final start at Hunter Field and Taylor McMackin out of the bullpen. Carter went five and two-third innings allowing just two runs on six hits and striking out four. McMackin worked three and one-third innings of hitless relief for his first save.
Cole Hanson (4-3) took the loss allowing three runs on five hits in five innings. Tristin Dermagosian and Tyler Keegan worked out of the bullpen.
UTD scored a run in the second on a bases-loaded walk to Ryan Burciaga. Carter then retired the next seven men in order.
HSU took the lead in the fifth inning with three runs. Cade Johnson had an RBI groundout, Taylor Cooling gave the Cowboys the lead with an RBI single to left and Elijah Perez bounced a ball through the hole on the left side to make it 3-1.
The Comets scored a run in the sixth when Matt Mikusek grounded a ball up the first base line that looked to be a routine out but the ball hit the first base bag and ricocheted away for a base hit. McMackin then came in with the bases loaded and got a groundout to end the inning and keep the game at 3-2.
HSU responded with three runs in the sixth. Gunny Evans reached on a two-base error when he was attempting a sacrifice bunt and Garrett Buckner came around to score. Evans then stole third and the throw down got away for an error allowing him to come in to score. John Tople added an RBI single to score Cooling.
Cooling had reached on a double that was the 200th career hit for the senior shortstop. He became just the sixth HSU player in the non-scholarship era with 200 hits.
Buckner had three hits for the Cowboys and Cooling and senior Elijah Perez also had two hits for HSU. Peyton Becker had two hits for the Comets.
UTD (22-15, 14-7 ASC) is now in a tie for second place with Sul Ross State for the right to host one of the two four-team ASC tournaments. HSU will close the regular season with a three-game series at McMurry next weekend.
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