ABILENE, Texas – Hardin-Simmons' baseball team split a pair of 9-8 games with Belhaven in American Southwest Conference action at Hunter Field on Friday.
Belhaven scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning and won the game in the eighth inning. It forced the second game to be a seven-inning game by league rules.
Justin Milam hit a two-run home run for the Blazers in the first inning and the Cowboys responded with a four-run second inning. Jacob Rains and Jamie Dominguez had RBI singles in the inning for HSU and Michael Hicks added a sacrifice fly.
Belhaven scored single runs in the third and fourth inning to tie the game, but HSU retook the lead in the fifth on an RBI single by Rains. Dylan Sweeney had a two-run pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give HSU a 7-4 lead.
Hayden Day then walked the first two men of the seventh inning and Logan Walters greeted new pitcher Chase Buchannan with a three-run home run to tie the game. Trip Denson and Nick Lucido had back-to-back doubles to give Belhaven an 8-7 lead.
The Cowboys responded with a pinch-hit RBI single by Brett Hudspeth with two outs to tie the game but Belhaven scored on a Tucker Calhoun sacrifice fly and held the Cowboys off the board in the eighth for the win.
Rains had two hits and drove in two for the Cowboys and Walters had three hits and drove in four runs for Belhaven.
HSU turned the tables on Belhaven rallying for six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 9-8 win.
Belhaven strung together runs in each of the first five innings, including two in the second and three in the fifth to take an 8-3 lead.
HSU scored on an RBI single by Hudspeth. Hudspeth added an RBI single in the third and Jamie Dominguez had a solo home run in the third.
In the sixth, HSU trailed 8-3 when they pounded out six runs on six hits. Matthew Lillard singled and Jacob Rains walked to start the inning and Dylan Sweeney drove them in a with a double. Danny-David Linahan followed with an RBI double and Dominguez had a RBI fielder's choice. Then Tyler Bradshaw put the Cowboys on top with a two-run home run to right center.
Bradshaw and Hudspeth had three hits each for HSU and Benson had three hits for Belhaven.
Brady Roper started for the Cowboys and went four and two-third innings. Clay Botello worked one and one-third innings to earn the win in relief and Taylor McMackin earned the save. Israel Foster took the loss for Belhaven allowing one run. Hunter Sanford started and allowed six runs and nine hits.
The Cowboys are now 12-13 overall and 8-6 in conference play. Belhaven is 9-18 overall and 2-12 in league play. The teams will play the rubber game of the series on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Hunter Field.
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