Down a pair of runs heading to the bottom of the sixth inning, the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets struck for four runs in the frame en route to a 6-5 victory over Southwestern in their first baseball game of the season Tuesday at Don Shepard Park.
Trailing 4-2 in the sixth, Matthew Daniel singled, Kyle Kulczyk reached on an error, then Jake Sadler walked with one out.
John Elmore followed with a three-RBI triple to the gap in right-center field, pushing HPU back in front, 5-4. Elmore later came home on an RBI sacrifice fly by Joshua Martinez to give the Yellow Jackets an insurance run and 6-4 edge.
HPU jumped ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the third as Martinez led off with a single and scored on Will Roberts’ two-out RBI double, then Roberts came home on a Kulczyk RBI single to right field.
Southwestern rallied with a single run in the top of the fourth and three more runs in the sixth to grab its 4-2 advantage.
HPU’s Corey Howie, Matthew Parks and Jacob Spivey combined on a seven-hitter and did not issue a walk. Howie allowed one run on three hits with three strikeouts in five innings; Parks gave up three runs, one earned, on two hits with three strikeouts; and Spivey yielded one run on two hits with one strikeout in the ninth.
The Yellow Jackets (1-0) tallied eight hits and committed a pair of errors defensively.
HPU returns to action Friday and Saturday with a three-game set at the University of Dallas.