TYLER — The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets’ April swoon continued with a pair of losses to the UT-Tyler Patriots, who solidifying their hold on second place in the American Southwest Conference baseball standings Saturday with victories of 6-0 and 12-2.
The losses extended the Yellow Jackets’ slump to eight games, as Howard Payne — which last picked up a victory on April 3 — dropped to ninth place in the conference standings, with the top eight squads advancing to the ASC championship tournament.
Hardin-Simmons (12-21, 8-14) swept a Saturday doubleheader from Louisiana College (11-23, 7-19) to leap Howard Payne (12-22, 7-18) and move into eighth place in the ASC baseball standings. Meanwhile, Louisiana College, which hosts Hardin-Simmons again today, trails the Yellow Jackets by just one-half game and owns the tiebreaker.
Howard Payne closes its series with UT-Tyler (29-10, 23-6) at 1 p.m. today, then hosts Sul Ross (19-18, 15-12) Friday and Saturday in the final three games of the regular season.
In Saturday’s series opening 6-0 loss to UT-Tyler, Patriot pitcher Jaime Paxton hurled a one-hitter with nine strikeouts and two walks.
Brandon Garrett singled up the middle in the Yellow Jackets’ very first at-bat, then Walker Dailey and Jake Sadler drew walks in the sixth inning, but were left stranded.
UT-Tyler tallied two runs each in the first, third and sixth innings against HPU pitcher Jacob Spivey, who also tossed a complete game. Spivey yielded six earned runs on nine hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
In the first, UT-Tyler scored on a two-RBI single by Kevan House, who finished with a pair of hits and three RBIs. House and Blake Bonnin contributed RBI singles in the third inning, while Garrett Nelson and Derick Smith launched back-to-back solo home runs with one out in the sixth.
In Saturday’s 12-2 loss, the Yellow Jackets fell behind 3-0 after one inning, but closed the gap to 3-2 through two frames.
UT-Tyler stretched its lead to 6-2 in the third inning, added two more runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and three runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Howard Payne generated eight hits in the nightcap with two each coming from Cody Cain and Cody Brown. Garrett, Matthew Daniel, Jacob Cowling and Connor Roberts chipped in one hit.
Sadler and Dailey recorded the RBIs for Howard Payne.
On the mound, Shae Edmonds was tagged with the loss, working four innings and yielding eight runs — six earned — on nine hits with one strikeout and three walks. Shawn Brody pitched two innings of relief and surrendered one run on three hits with three walks and a strikeout, while Dustin Kelver also worked two innings and gave up three runs on three hits with two strikeouts.
Cason Adams tallied the win for UT-Tyler, tossing five innings of seven-hit ball with four strikeouts and four walks. Tyler Stallings and Tye Weber pitched four innings of scoreless relief, surrendering only one hit.
Top offensive standouts for the Patriots included Sam Lane with five hits and three RBIs, Nelson with two hits and four RBIs, and Logan Tucker with one hit and two RBIs.