Bulletin Staff Report
The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets won their weekend series with Louisiana College as they picked up a 21-11 win in Game 3 after dropping a 10-4 decision in Game 2 Saturday.
In the series finale, the Yellow Jackets (5-5) finished with 20 hits and scored at least four runs in three innings.
A six-run bottom of the third gave Howard Payne a 7-2 lead, then the Yellow Jackets followed with nine runs in the fourth to boost the advantage to 16-2.
Louisiana College (4-4) pulled to within 17-10 by scoring five runs in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth, but HPU responded with a four-spot in the bottom of the sixth.
Howard Payne catcher Jose Sierra was 4-for-4 with four RBIs, while right fielder Nic Loving went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. First baseman Jason Raesz added a 3-for-4, two-RBI effort, while second baseman Chris Pucci and left fielder Taylor Zambreski were both 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
Center fielder Adam Garcia was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, third baseman Luke Leftwich added a hit and two RBIs and designated hitter Ky McNett finished with a hit and an RBI.
Chase LaPenna collected the win in relief for the Yellow Jackets as he worked 2.1 innings and allowed five runs — three earned — on five hits.
Logan Nelson started on the mound and lasted 2.1 innings as he gave up two earned runs on five hits with a strikeout and two walks.
Also pitching in relief were Kyle Lloyd, who worked a perfect one-third of an inning; Nate Manor, who gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in one-third of an inning; and Mason Rihn, who tossed the final 1.2 innings and surrendered one run on one hit and one walk.
In Louisiana College’s 10-4 win Saturday, the Yellow Jackets led 3-2 after four innings, but a five-run top of the fifth sparked the Wildcats to an eight-run surge over their final three at-bats.
Louisiana College center fielder Bryan George came off the bench and finished 1-for-4 with five RBIs. George’s grand slam in the fifth inning put the Wildcats ahead for good.
Howard Payne starting pitcher Colby Rowley was tagged with the loss as he gave up seven runs — six earned — on seven hits with three walks and a strikeout.
Rihn allowed one run in 1.1 innings of relief while Jimmy May surrendered two runs on two hits in the seventh.
Offensively, the Yellow Jackets mustered just five hits.
First baseman Blake Shaffer and catcher Ben Ogle each had a hit and an RBI, while the other hits belonged to Zambreski, Lloyd and second baseman Salvador Tijerina.
The Yellow Jackets will next play a three-game series at UT-Dallas starting at 2 p.m. Friday.