BELTON — The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets split a doubleheader with Mary Hardin-Baylor Saturday afternoon to capture their initial series in American Southwest Conference baseball action.
Following a 5-2 victory Friday night, the Yellow Jackets responded with a 4-2 win in Saturday’s first game, before Mary Hardin-Baylor salvaged the series finale, 7-0.
In the win for the Yellow Jackets (3-2, 2-1), Howard Payne scored all four of its runs in the top of the third inning. Mary Hardin-Baylor (1-3, 1-2) responded with single runs in the third and sixth innings.
The Yellow Jackets recorded five hits and drew four walks off the Mary Hardin-Baylor pitching tandem of Seth Hill and Cory Farr. John Elmore, Brandon Garrett, Dustin DeJohn, Jacob Cowling and Jake Sadler tallied the Howard Payne hits, while Elmore drove in two runs and DeJohn — who belted a three-run homer in the series opener — contributed one RBI.
On the mound for HPU, Shae Edmonds went the distance in the seven-inning affair, surrendering two runs — one earned — on five hits with a pair of strikeouts and one walk.
Scoreless in the top of the third, Cowling led off with a single down the left field line followed by double to right field by Sadler. Cody Cain then walked to load the bases. With one out, Elmore singled up the middle to plate Sadler and Cowling. With two down, DeJohn’s RBI infield single to shortstop brought home Elmore, while an error on the plate also Cain to score.
UMHB scored on an error in the bottom of the third and on a Zack Whiddon solo homer with one out in the sixth.
In Saturday’s second game, the Yellow Jackets were limited to just four hits by UMHB pitchers Aaron Barteau, Jon Franz, Ty Johnson and K.J. Stark.
Howard Payne pitcher Jacob Spivey was tagged with the loss, surrendering four runs — three earned — on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks over five innings. Shawn Brody and Dustin Kelver pitched three innings of relief and combined to give up three runs — one earned — on two hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Garrett recorded three of Howard Payne’s four hits, with the other coming from Elmore.
Mary Hardin-Baylor scored two runs each in the third and fifth innings, and added three additional runs in the eighth.
Justin Dingman and Will Stafford drove in two RBIs apiece for the Cru, while Dingman and Robert Loewe finished with a team-high two hits each.
The Yellow Jackets will play their first three ASC home games next weekend as they welcome Ozarks (2-4, 0-0) for a noon doubleheader Friday, with the finale set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Don Shepard Park.