Trailing by two runs heading into their final trip to the plate, the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets overcame the deficit with a three-run bottom of the ninth to defeat Mary Hardin-Baylor, 7-6, Friday at Don Shepard Park.
The victory was the first in ASC West action for Howard Payne (14-10, 1-3), which will host Mary Hardin-Baylor (7-11, 0-4) in a 1 p.m. doubleheader today to conclude the three-game set.
Howard Payne’s ninth-inning rally began with two outs and no runners on base.
Pinch-hitter Conner Roberts walked against UMHB hurler Aaron Barteau, then Carlton Brown reached on an error. Chase Holmes followed with an RBI single up the middle that plated Roberts and chased Barteau from the game.
UMHB’s next pitcher, Trey Swartzenburg, was greeted by a single from Kyle Kulczyk to load the bases. Alan Sailors then drew a bases loaded walk to plate Brown with the tying run, while Cody Cain was plunked by a Swartzenburg offering which resulted in C.J. Schumann, pinch-running for Holmes, crossing the plate with the decisive run.
Holmes, Colton Buzzard and Sam Dollahite led HPU’s nine-hit attack with two apiece. Kulczyk, Jake Sadler and Joshua Martinez chipped in one hit each.
Dollahite and Holmes generated a team-best two RBIs while one apiece came from Sailors, Cain and Ben Butler.
On the mound, Corey Howie allowed two earned runs on six hits with eight strikeouts and two walks over eight innings for HPU. Reed Klose worked the ninth and picked up the win, surrendering just one hit.
Howard Payne broke a 2-all tie with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. Dollahite’s RBI double down the left field line scored Martinez, while Holmes reached on an error that brought home Dollahite.
UMHB, however, answered with a three-run top of the sixth to grab a 5-4 edge and added an insurance run in the eighth.
The Yellow Jackets also jumped out to a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first two innings — an RBI walk by Butler and an RBI sacrifice fly from Dollahite.
Howard Payne committed six errors in the game, while UMHB made five miscues.