Eight-run fourth inning dooms HPU in 9-6 loss to McMurry

Derrick Stuckly Brownwood Bulletin derrick.stuckly@brownwoodbulletin.com

Howard Payne surrendered eight runs in the top of the fourth inning, as the McMurry War Hawks collected a 9-6 non-conference baseball victory over the Yellow Jackets Tuesday afternoon at Don Shepard Park.

The Yellow Jackets (12-16) finished with 13 hits, with three for extra bases, including a first-inning home run by Micah Thompson that opened the scoring. But McMurry (24-5) generated seven extra-base hits, a pair of triples and five doubles, and finished with 14 hits as a team.

The top three batters in the HPU order — Joshua Martinez, Thompson and Brett Quackenbush — accounted for seven hits, three runs and a pair of RBIs. Jake Sadler chipped in three hits, making Quackenbush for the team-high, and an RBI. Matthew Daniel and Jacob both contributed one hit and an RBI, while Cody Brown recorded a hit as well.

On the mound, Howard Payne used five pitchers. Dustin Kelver got the start and took the loss, working 3.2 innings and yielding four earned runs on two hits with four strikeouts and a pair of walks. Nathan Weyrauch was the first reliever into the game and gave up four runs on six hits with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings. Garret Virgin, Boardman Adams and Brandon Garrett pitched the final four innings and surrendered only one run on six hits with three strikeouts.

McMurry’s offense was fueled by two hits and three RBIs from Cody Howard, three hits and a pair of RBIs from Ben Douglas, four hits and three runs scored by Patrick Adams and a couple of RBIs and one hit from Casey Berryman.

John Eric Cortez tossed seven innings for the War Hawks to earn the victory, giving up two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. Aaron Donald was tagged for three runs on three hits and a walk in one-third of an inning. Trevor Ragsdale and Ricky Lopez recorded the final five outs, allowing just one runs on three hits with three strikeouts.

The Yellow Jackets (7-13 in ASC action) host first-place Concordia (21-16, 15-2) for a three-game ASC series beginning with a single game at 2 p.m. Friday. Games 2 and 3 will start at 1 p.m. Saturday at Don Shepard Park.