For the third time this season, the McMurry baseball team (15-20) found itself on the right side of an extra innings game as the War Hawks defeated St. Edward's University, 5-3, in ten innings, on Saturday afternoon.
The Hilltoppers got things rolling in the first inning as they struck for a run on a Nate Bobrowski single, to take the early, 1-0, advantage. McM would not stay down long, as they would quickly counter in the next half inning.
In the top of the second, the War Hawks battled back and took the lead as they struck for two in the frame. After Nick Marsh reached second base following a single and a sacrifice bunt, Eric Mortiz came through on a first pitch double to center field, scoring Marsh, to tie the game at 1-1. Then, after a Greg Koll single moved Mortiz to third, he was brought in on a RBI by Ruben Zendejas, giving the War Hawks the 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the third, however, the HIlltoppers would capture the lead back, scoring two of their own in the stanza, to re-take the lead, 3-2.
The score would remain 3-2 over the next five innings of play as both pitching staffs held each team in check. McMurry's Aaron Burns, after allowing two earned runs through the first three innings, allowed just two total hits over his next five innings of work.
The War Hawks would go into the top of the ninth down 3-2. With just two outs left in the game, Adam Neubauer got things rolling with an infield single. Moritz than notched is second RBI of the day, doubling to left-center field, scoring Neubauer, to tie the game 3-3. The War Hawks then had a chance to take the lead with runners on first and second with only one out, but failed to convert.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, closer Jared Hopper came on, looking to send the game into extra innings. With runners on first and second base and only one out, Hopper came through, by striking out the next two batters he faced to send the game to a tenth inning.
In the tenth, the War Hawks wasted little time notching the go ahead run. With Dylan De Leon on second base with one out, Jordan Kennedy doubled to right-center field, to score De Leon and give McM the 4-3 lead, the next batter was Marsh, who chased in Kennedy with a RBI single to right to extend the advantage to 5-3.
In the bottom of the tenth inning, Hopper was once again faced with a difficult situation. After giving up a lead-off single, Hopper struck out two and walked two batters to load the bases with two outs in the inning. With the game-tying run standing on second base,
Hopper got Dylan Watts to fly out left field to end the game, 5-3.
On the mound, the War Hawks got quality performances from both Burns and Hopper. Burns went eight full innings, allowing just two earned runs and seven hits while striking out four. Hopper, who earned his team-leading fifth win of the season, also struck out four in just two innings of work while allowing two hits and zero runs.
Offensively, the War Hawks were led by Moritz's two-RBI day, and also received RBI contributions from Zendejas, Kennedy and Marsh. Marsh also went 3-for-5 on the day. Cody Howard and Greg Koll also added two hits each.
With the win, the War Hawks are now 3-0 on the year in extra inning games, having defeated St. Mary's University, 3-2, in ten innings on March 16, and UTPB, 2-1, back on February, 8.
McM will be back in action on Tuesday when it travels to San Angelo for a nine-inning affair with Angelo State University. First Pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Information provided by McMurry Athletics Dept.