Bulletin Staff Report

The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets rallied to even their overall record at 4-4 with a 5-3 victory over the Louisiana College Wildcats Friday afternoon at Don Shepard Park.

The victory also kept the Yellow Jackets — who last played on Feb. 12 — unbeaten at home.

ASC West Pitcher of the Week Adam Garcia tossed a complete game, allowing three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and six walks.

Howard Payne finished with nine hits, led by two each from first baseman Blake Shaffer — who drove home two runs on a pair of triples — left fielder Taylor Zambreski and right fielder Nic Loving.

The Yellow Jackets spotted the Wildcats a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but took a 4-2 advantage with a three-run bottom of the fourth.

Zambreski singled to start the fourth, then Shaffer tripled to center field to even the score at 2. Designated hitter Ky McNett’s RBI ground out to shortstop plated Shaffer for a 3-2 HPU lead.

Third baseman Luke Leftwich extended the inning with a two-out single, followed by an RBI triple from Loving for a 4-2 Jacket advantage.

The Wildcats closed the gap to 4-3 in the top of the fourth, but Howard Payne answered with Shaffer’s second RBI triple in the bottom of the eighth.

Shortstop Cale Thompson’s solo home run in the bottom of the second inning accounted for HPU’s first run.