IRVING, Texas – The University of Dallas baseball team answered a four-run deficit to tie No. 20 Centenary College in the late stages of Friday's Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) opener. However, the 2017 tournament champions pushed the go-ahead runs in the ninth to edge the Crusaders 7-5 in game one of the series.
Nathan Patton (McKinney, Texas) produced a great game with a 4-for-5, two home runs, and three RBI. Hitters 3-5 in the Dallas lineup combined to go 10-for-15 with all five runs driven in.
Team Scores: Centenary (7), Dallas (5)
Team Records: Centenary (9-7, 1-0 SCAC), Dallas (7-10, 0-1 SCAC)
Pitcher Records: W) Lavergne (1-1), L) Voss (3-3)
The Gents jumped on top early with four runs over the first two turns to bat. The second batter of the contest, Chris Zapata, ripped a two-run blast to start what would be a three-run inning.
After surrendering a run in the second, UD's starter Tyler Montemayor (Boerne, Texas) settled in to retire eight straight batters. Cody Crowder – who tallied a 4-for-5 with base hits in his first four turns – laced a triple to right with one out in the fifth. He scored on an RBI-single by Ian Graham to right to push the Gents back up 5-2 at the time.
Centenary's ace Kaleb Kirk had faced the minimum through three innings. An error started the fourth. Two batters later Patton clobbered his first career long ball to left center. That slashed the gap in half. Jessup Scott (Lewiston, Idaho) and Mark Peterson (Cincinnati, Ohio) followed with singles but were left on base.
Patton came through again with a solo blast in the sixth inning to reduce the margin to a pair again at 5-3. With no outs still, Scott and Peterson got on base via singles. Paul Scioli (Lubbock, Texas) was hit by a pitch with two gone to load the bases, but a strikeout ended the threat.
The next inning, the Crusaders would come through with two runs to knot the game. Jordan Stickler (Grand Rapids, Mich.) led off with a single up the middle. After a fielder's choice, Patton singled to left and put the runners on the corners, as Abalos advanced on a hit and run sequence. Scott singled through the right side to bring in Patton, and ended Kirk's day at 6.1 innings. Cole Lavergne entered and was greeted by a Peterson double to left center. With two in scoring position, the Crusaders had a groundout with the infield defense in and strikeout to keep it a 5-all.
The Gents threatened with the bases loaded in the eighth, but Conrad Voss (Corona, Calif.) had entered with two on and two out. The lefty walked Zapata to put runners on all the bases, but fanned Crowder swinging on 1-2 pitch.
Centenary broke through as Tyler Erickson pinch hit and got a sacrifice fly. Nicholas Delaneuvill singled the next at bat through the right side for an insurance run. UD's Maximillian Costello (Anchorage, Alaska) nailed Preston Ludwick trying to stretch to third on a nice throw that ended the frame.
Patton and Scott led off UD's last chance to bat with singles to get runners on first and second. Peterson scorched a hard ball on the first base line, but Ludwick – who had moved to play there when Lavergne took the mound in the seventh – was able to make a fantastic stop to get the out. With the tying run on second, Dallas came up short as it stranded 11 runners for the ballgame.
The Gents also left 10 on base, as both teams produced 14 hits. Centenary committed two errors compared to just one by the Crusaders.
Patton, Scott, and Peterson formed that middle of the order with multiple hits. Stickler – who kept his on-base streak alive at 48 dating to last season – was able to go 2-for-5. The first three hitters for the Crusaders accounted for all the runs scored.
Abraham Griesbauer (Troy, Mo.) tossed three innings of relief, including getting the final out with runners on in the fifth. He scattered three hits and had an impressive pick off in the eighth. Voss followed as the second lefty for the Crusaders that afternoon in a row and got saddled with the loss.
Lavergne threw 2.2 innings and did not yield a run on four hits. He had one strikeout in the win. Crowder's 4-for-5 included a double and triple. Graham and Cameron Guin added two-hit games.
Dallas wraps up the first conference series with the Gents tomorrow with a scheduled doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.