FORT WORTH — The Howard Payne Yellow Jackets made it 17 wins in their last 21 outings Tuesday, sweeping a non-conference baseball doubleheader from the Austin College Kangaroos, 15-10 and 5-4, at All Saints High School.
In Tuesday's opener, the Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 7-0 lead, only to witness Austin College (5-13) close the gap to 10-9 in the fifth inning. The Lobos drew even at 10 in the bottom of the sixth, but Howard Payne fired back with five runs in the top of the seventh and final frame to secure the victory.
The Yellow Jackets' 14-hit attack included three doubles and two RBI from R.J. Roberts; two hits and three RBI apiece from both Joshua Gerig and Manny Torralba; two hits and a pair of RBI from Keldon Crawford; a pair of hits from Sam Bosher; and one apiece from Ty McCain, Cade Varrichio and Noah Payne — who belted a solo home run.
On the mound, Graham White, Ethan Cerna, Landin Blass, Kyle Purdes, Kory Owen and Xavier Haines teamed up to allow five earned runs on 10 hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Owen was credited with the victory.
In the nightcap, the Yellow Jackets notched a walk-off victory thanks to Payne's RBI sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh, which plated pinch-runner Tucker Cavaness, running for Roberts who drew a walk.
Howard Payne never trailed, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. HPU owned a 3-1 edge after three, a 4-2 advantage through five and was in front 4-3 heading to the seventh, where each Austin College pulled even in the top of the frame.
The Yellow Jackets mustered just five hits — two by Rylee McGee and one each by Crawford, Payne and Cliff Lunceford — but drew eight walks.
Connor Lowe, Johnny Cravey, Ben Schardt, Ryan Richardson, Ty Garner, Purdes and Haines combined on a nine-hitter with four earned runs allowed, three strikeouts and four walks. Haines collected the victory.
The ASC-leading Yellow Jackets (17-9, 11-1) welcome Sul Ross (11-10, 7-2) for three league games this weekend — a 2 p.m. tilt Friday and a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday.