The McMurry University baseball team split a home double header for the first time since March 15 as the War Hawks and Newman Univeristy each took a game on Friday. The Jets won a pitchers duel, 2-1, in game one before the War Hawks routed Newman in game two, 11-4.
Newman threatened to blow game one wide open in the first inning, but solid defensive play by Greg Koll kept the Jets at bay. NU started off the game by getting its first three runners on base on three-straight singles, and then score the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Marrero to make the score 1-0.
With runners on first and second and one out, the Jets then tried a double steal, and Koll threw out the lead runner at third. A wild pitch then looked as they it was going to allow a run to score all the way from second, but once again, a heads up play by Koll helped to get the runner out at the plate and keep the score at 1-0.
Koll then tied the game in the bottom of the second inning. After back-to-back singles by Nick Marsh and Cody Howard put runners on first and second with no one out, a sacrifice bunt by Ricky Garcia moved the runners to second and third. Koll then brought in Marsh for his ninth RBI of the season to tie the game at 1-1.
After the bottom of the second, the starting pitchers for both teams controlled the rest of the contest. After allowing three hits in the first inning of play, McMurry's Chase Moreland retired 15-of-16 batters, including 14 in a row, allowing just one single until the seventh inning.
In the top of the seventh, the Jets were once again able to plate the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to take the 2-1 lead. The War Hawks could not respond as Newman's Jacob Furr set down McM in order in the bottom of the seventh. After giving up the trying run in the bottom of the second inning, Furr retired 16 of the last 19 batters he faced, allowing just a single to Koll and walks to Howard and Adam Neubauer in the process.
Offensively in game one, McM was led by Koll's 1-for-3 day, as he drove in the lone RBI in the contest.
Despite being saddled with the loss, Moreland pitched great, allowing just six hits and two earned while striking out three in the complete-game performance.
In game two, the offense showed up in support of senior Spencer Smith, who started a home game for the final time of his career.
After Smith retired the side in the top of the second inning, the War Hawks struck big in the bottom of the frame, sending 11 batters to the dish and plating six runs on seven hits. In the inning, McM received six-straight hits, all singles, with one out and received RBI by AJ Dupre, Dylan De Leon, Howard, Jordan Kennedy and Casey Berryman to take the 6-0 lead, which would prove to be more than enough for Smith.
After allowing one run in the top of the third, McM came right back in the bottom of the fourth and plated two more runs on RBI Kennedy and Berryman to extend the lead to 8-1.
However, the War Hawks were not done. In the bottom of the fifth, McMurry scored three-more times, including RBI by Howard and Berryman, to finish the War Hawks scoring for the day, 11-1.
Smith pitched a great game in his final appearance for the War Hawks and was strong down the stretch. After allowing three, unearned runs in the top of the seventh, Smith shut down the Jets in the eighth and ninth to earn the complete game victory.
Throwing nearly 140 pitches, Smith went nine solid innings, scattering eight hits while striking out eight batters and allowing just one earned run on the day.
Offensively, Berryman led the way with three RBI while Kennedy and Howard each knocked in a pair. Howard also went three-for-five on the day, as did De Leon. Marsh, Garcia, Hagan, Dupre and Ruben Zendejas also all got into the hit column, with De Leon and Dupre driving in a run each.
For Berryman, his three-RBI day marks the third time in the last five games that he has registered a multi-RBI game, and now has nine RBI in that span as well.
The War Hawks and Jets will play two more games tomorrow in double-header action starting at 1 p.m. All six McMurry seniors who will be suiting up for the last time at Walt Driggers Field will be honored between games.
Information for this story provided by McMurry Athletics