ABILENE, TX - McMurry University baseball could not hold its early lead, dropping the “rubber game” of the series with Belhaven University, 8-3, at Walt Driggers Field. The War Hawks fell to 8-12 overall and 4-5 in the American Southwest Conference, while the Blazers improved to 12-8 on the year and are also 4-5 in the ASC.
McM sophomore outfielder Randy Crevier provided the biggest offensive pinch for the War Hawks. After leadoff man Kevin Garza was hit by a pitch from BU starter Tyler Wolfe, Crevier stepped up to the plate and blasted his first home run of the season over the leftfield fence to give the hosts a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately for McMurry, its joy would be short-lived. After setting the visitors down in order in the first, McM senior hurler John Eric Cortez would give up three hits and three walks, as the Blazers plated four runs (4-2). Mike Gonzales came on in relief to get the final out of the inning.
But Belhaven also changed pitchers in the second after Wolfe’s shaky start. Landon Boyd came on in relief of Wolfe and scattered five hits allowed to McM over seven shutout innings. Meanwhile, the War Hawks’ Gonzales was tagged for a run in the fourth and Hunter Brooks permitted three more in the fifth to give BU an 8-2 advantage.
McMurry scratched out a ninth-inning run off of the Blazers’ third pitcher of the day, Chase Birch. Catcher Blaine McRay was hit by a pitch to lead off the at-bats and Chase Bledsoe came on as a pinch runner. Peyton Stokes switched places with Bledsoe after grounding into a fielder’s choice. With two out, pinch hitter Robert White clubbed a single to left, as Stokes advanced to second.
Garza (2-for-4) then delivered his second hit of the day – an RBI single to center – which brought home Stokes with what would be McM’s final run of the day. Crevier struck out swinging for the third out.
In all, the War Hawks sent six pitchers to the hill. The latter three – Rody Johnson (0.1 IP), Chase Stone (1.0 IP) and Reese Etter (3.0 IP) did not permit a run over their 4.1 innings of work and allowed the Blazers just two hits during that span.
On the day, each team amassed eight hits. The War Hawks committed a pair of errors, while BU had a clean defensive slate.
McM will next be in action on Tuesday, hosting crown-town rival Hardin-Simmons University at Walt Driggers Field. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.
-Information provided by McMurry Athletics
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