The McMurry University baseball team (13-16) captured its second-straight series victory over a Heartland Conference opponent, as it took the rubber match from Oklahoma Panhandle State University, 8-2, on Saturday afternoon.
The War Hawks never trailed in the contest as they jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, scoring a run in both the top of the first and second innings. Cody Howard singled in Dylan De Leon for the game's first run in the first, and Eric Mortiz drove in Ruben Zendejas in the top of the second to extend the lead to 2-0.
In the top of the fourth inning, McM would add another run, this time off the bat of Jon Mejia. Zendejas led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. With two outs in the inning, Mejia came through with a double which scored Zendejas to make the score 3-0.
OPSU would show some fight in the bottom of the fourth inning, striking for two runs in the frame off of starter, Aaron Burns. The Aggies would use an RBI single and a sacrifice fly to tally their runs and cut the score to 3-2.
In the top of the eighth inning, McM struck again, as Zendejas scored his third run of the game. After getting on base with a single, Zendejas was able to score all the way from first base on a two-out double by De Leon, to give the War Hawks the 4-2 lead.
After Burns shut down the Aggies in the bottom half of the eighth inning, McM blew the game wide open, striking for four runs in the top of the ninth inning. Howard started the inning with a single and was moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Jeremy Ruiz.
McMurry then strung together four-straight hits as Greg Koll brought in Howard on a RBI single and was followed by an RBI double by Nick Marsh, who advanced to third base on the throw.
Marsh was then chased in on a RBI hit from Ricky Garcia. Zendejas then reached base for the fifth-straight time in the ball game, as he singled to move Garcia to third. Garcia then scored from third on a squeeze bunt by Eric Moritz to round out the scoring at 8-2.
On the mound, Burns earned his third win of the season as he went eight full innings. Allowing just the two earned runs over the course of the game, Burns held the Aggies to eight hits while striking out eight on the day.
Offensively, Zendejas was the catalyst for the War Hawks, as he reached base in all five of his at bats (3-for-3 with two walks). He also scored three of the eight McM runs on the day.
De Leon, Mejia and Marsh all collected two hits and an RBI in the contest, and Howard, Garcia and Moritz all added an RBI as well.
McM will be back in action on Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30 when it will host a three game series against the University of Texas – Permian Basin. Double header action on Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m., with a nine-inning contest to be played on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Information provided by McMurry athletics department.