McMurry University's baseball team split with the No. 7-ranked team in NCAA Division II and Heartland Conference regular season champion, St. Edward's University, on Friday at Lucian-Hamilton Stadium. The War Hawks (23-25, 13-15 HC) dropped the opener, 2-0, before bouncing back to take the second game, 2-1.
In the day's first game, SEU hurler Brannon Easterling (10-4) was overpowering, no-hitting the War Hawks for the first five innings. McMurry's only remnant of an offensive uprising came in the top of the sixth when slapped a leadoff single. Hagan was erased when catcher hit into a double play on an attempted sacrifice bunt.
laced a two-out single to right as the War Hawks' only other hit of the game.
(4-6) took the loss for McMurry, allowing both of the Hilltopper runs (one each in the first and third innings). Zier went three innings and gave up seven hits and the two earned runs. tossed one inning and two, neither allowing a run or a hit to SEU in closing out the game.
In game two, senior righty tossed a strong five innings to keep the Hilltoppers at bay. DePorte scattered four hits, allowed no runs, struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Meanwhile, McMurry would take advantage of a less-than-artistic first inning in which St. Edward's defense committed three errors, resulting in two unearned McM runs. and both reached on fielding errors to open the game and, after a fielder's choice by Hagan, ' RBI single made it 1-0. A throwing error on the play allowed both Hagan and Douglas to move up to second and third, setting the stage for 's sacrifice fly that plated Hagan, upping it to 2-0.
Behind DePorte, that looked like plenty. But DePorte was on a pitch count with the NCCAA regionals beginning next Tuesday and McM head coach called on reliever to come on in the sixth. Bates retired the side in order in that sixth frame, but the seventh got off to a rocky start as he walked the first two men he faced. was summoned on and got the next three batters on a strikeout and a pair of fly balls to end the threat.
Labbie would finish the game to earn his team-leading fourth save of the season. Labbie allowed one unearned run in the ninth, one hit, one walk and struck out three Hilltoppers.
Douglas collected two of McMurry's five hits in the game. SEU also amassed five hits in the nightcap.
The two teams square off again tomorrow in the regular season finale and rubber game of the series. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.
Information for this story provided by McMurry Athletics.