(Photo Courtesy of Sul Ross State Athletics)
ALPINE, Texas – The University of Dallas baseball team rallied in the seventh inning with six runs to cut a 10-3 deficit to one, but would fall short of a series-opening sweep on Sunday at Sul Ross State University. Nicolas Hovde (Waco, Texas) launched his first collegiate home run for a three-run blast that nipped the score to 10-9 with two outs in that big inning. Nathan Patton (McKinney, Texas) also went yard in the game, but the Lobos overcame a 4-2 difference in errors and were too much with its 10 runs through the first four frames.
Team Scores: Dallas (9), Sul Ross State University (11)
Team Records: Dallas (2-1), Sul Ross State University (1-2)
Pitcher Records: W) Isaac Gallego (1-0), L) Taylor (0-1), S) Lujan (1)
An RBI groundout for Zachary Taylor (Humble, Texas) put the Crusaders on top in the first inning. Taylor got the start for UD and would give three runs back in the next half inning. Tim Johnson had a two-run double and Jett Hartley added a sacrifice fly to center. The Lobos chased Taylor in the third inning, as the home team ended up plating five to break the game open.
Dallas did not go away, as Patton started the top of the fourth with a solo shot. It was his sixth of the senior third baseman's career.
After SRSU countered with a two-run shot from Jared Lorenz in the bottom of the fourth, it was the road squad scoring the next seven runs to change the momentum. Taylor, who switched from a pitcher to designated hitter to remain in the lineup at cleanup, would double to center to start the comeback. Andrew Womack (Vienna, Va.) added sacrifice fly and Christian Wheatley singled to right before Hovde clobbered a ball over the left field wall to make things interesting. All six runs were unearned in the inning.
UD created more traffic after the senior right fielder's blast with the next three batters reaching via an error, single to left, and hit by pitch. Patton struck out on a 2-2 count to end an inning that featured five hits but was aided with three errors.
Izaak Lujan came on to get that big strikeout in the seventh and threw the final 2.1 innings for the save. Lujan struck out all four Crusaders for over half of his seven outs. He only allowed a single and had a runner on via an error, but Dallas never had a runner in scoring position the rest of the game. The Lobos did tack on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh with a sacrifice fly.
Dallas stranded 11 runners.
The Lobos did tally 13 hits compared to UD's 10. Joseph Vondrachek (North St. Paul, Minn.), Wheatley, and Mavrick Martinez (Friendswood, Texas) logged two-hit games. Vondrachek and Wheatley recorded the team's stolen bases with one each. Hovde had three ribbies, while Taylor added two.
Sul Ross was led at the plate by Tristan Karels with a 3-4 and one of the team's four doubles. He drove in one and scored twice. Asthon Leech, Johnson, Lorenz, and Tye Lindsey each plated two runs. Richard Bailey scored a game-high three runs.
UD sent three pitchers to the mound. Behind Taylor was Ryan Flores (San Diego, Calif.) and Tyler Montemayor (Boerne, Texas). Montemayor threw five innings and gave up just three runs, including two from the homer. He fanned five. Flores had two punchouts in the only inning he completed.
Isaac Gallego got the start and went 5.2 innings. He worked around four hits and three walks, as the winning pitcher gave up just two earned runs, the only ones earned on the day for SRSU.
The Crusaders picked up their first road series win at Sul Ross State since 2016, which was also the last time they won a road series to start a campaign, too.
Dallas plays at home for the first time in 2020 on February 7-8 with three different opponents. The Crusaders start with Park University for a nine-inning and seven-inning doubleheader on Friday that begins at 12 p.m. They face Central Baptist College at 10 a.m. and then Dallas Christian College later on the eighth.