The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets yielded a pair of six-run innings as the East Texas Baptist Tigers notched a 16-8 victory in Friday’s opener of a three-game American Southwest Conference baseball series at Don Shepard Park.

Games 2 and 3 of the doubleheader begin at 1 p.m. today.

The Yellow Jackets (18-15, 10-9) owned a 5-2 advantage after three innings, but were outscored 14-3 the rest of the way. The Tigers’ (24-11, 15-4) first six-spot occurred in the fifth inning, which gave ETBU an 8-5 edge, with the last coming in the ninth.

Matthew Parks took the loss for HPU, allowing seven runs on five hits and five walks with four strikeouts over 4.1 innings. Relievers Xavier Haines, Wesley Smith and Nathan Weyrauch gave up nine runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

Offensively for Howard Payne, Benjamin Lewis led the way with three hits and one RBI followed by Michael Nowak with two hits and two RBIs, Cliff Lunceford with a double and three RBIs, Bailey Smith with a hit and an RBI and Chris Byrd, Joshua Gerig, Brett Quackenbush and Noah Payne with one hit apiece.

For ETBU, Casey Combs and Zach Garner both drove in three runs while Jaxon Rader and Conner Combs contributed two RBIs apiece. Gardner and Conner Combs also homered for the Tigers.