By virtue of surrendering 25 runs over two games Saturday, to go along with 13 runs allowed Friday, the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets were swept by the Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders in the first American Southwest Conference baseball series of the season for both teams.

After dropping a 13-3 decision Friday at Don Shepard Park, HPU fell 17-3 in Saturday’s opener and 8-6 in the nightcap.

In the second game, Howard Payne (3-4, 0-3) rallied from four runs down to pull even in the bottom of the eighth, but UMHB (4-0, 3-0) scored twice in the top of the ninth.

With one out in the ninth, Robert Loewe’s RBI single scored Dakota Parsons, who led off with a single against HPU pitcher Jaime Boyd. A wild pitch then moved Loewe to third base, and he scored the Crusaders’ eighth run on a two-out RBI single by Chase Burrow.

Trailing 6-2 after six innings, the Yellow Jackets chalked up two runs each in the seventh and eighth.

In the seventh, Joshua Martinez led off with a walk and Will Roberts launched a two-run homer to close the gap to 6-4.

In the eighth, John Elmore singled and moved to third on a pair of passed balls. After Cody Cain walked, Jake Sadler’s RBI ground out plated Elmore to make the score 6-5. Martinez then followed with an RBI single to right field that allowed Cain to even the score.

During Saturday’s first game, the score was tied at 3 going to the bottom of the sixth inning where the Yellow Jackets surrendered 14 runs. UMHB batted around twice in the inning as Howard Payne shuffled four pitchers on and off the mound before three outs were recorded.

For the game, the Yellow Jackets pitching combination of Jacob Spivey, Garrett Virgin, Dustin Kelver, Boardman Adams and Kyle Ramon gave up only nine hits, but walked eight batters and beaned five more.