Senior reliever Tyler Brunnemann struck out the side in the eighth inning to set the Hardin-Simmons baseball career Division III era record for strikeouts but the Cowboys lost the final game of the regular season, 3-1, to Trinity on Monday evening in San Antonio.
Brunnemann passed the old record of 177 of Sam Walker. Brunnemann struck out all three batters and pushed his season total to 55 and his career mark to 179. He is 1-1 with 10 saves and an 0.76 ERA on the year. He has allowed only three runs and two walks on the year in 35 and two-third innings.
The Cowboys threatened in the bottom of the ninth and scored one run on an Andrew Bell two-out RBI single. HSU had runners on the corners when Michael Bentz came on to strike out Troy Nicholson to end the game. Bentz earned the save in relief of starter Zack Speer, who went eight and two-thirds and allowed just four hits and one run and stuck out 10 to improve to 7-0.
Trinity scored single runs in the second and fourth innings both on Kevin Clements RBI singles. Christian Muscarello had an RBI single in the fifth.
Matt Rhodes got the start for the Cowboys and worked five solid innings. He allowed three runs on six hits to the 13th-ranked Tigers. He fell to 1-4. Alex Bradley worked two scoreless innings and Brunnemann worked the perfect eighth.
Trey Thompson had two hits for HSU and Will Donnan and Clements had two hits each for Trinty.
HSU is now 22-18 on the year and Trinity improved to 33-7. HSU will play at Texas-Tyler on Friday at 6 p.m. in the American Southwest Conference Championship Series.
Information for this story provided by HSU Sports Information.