ABILENE, Texas - Hardin-Simmons' baseball team rallied from a 6-2 deficit to defeat Chapman 8-7 to take the non-conference series 2-1 on Saturday afternoon at Hunter Field.
The Cowboys received two clutch at-bats from two players that were not regulars to the lineup.
Ryan Reagor, who was making his first start of the year in centerfield, came up huge with a three-run single in the seventh inning to tie the game and pinch-hitter J.T. Thornton drove in the eventual winning run on a fielder's choice in the eighth.
HSU took the early lead with single runs in each of the first two inning. Troy Nicholson had an RBI double in the first inning and Caleb Jacques had an RBI single in the second.
Chapman then scored the next six runs. Andrew Carbajal had an RBI triple in the fourth and Matt Molnar followed with an RBI double. In the fifth, John Wiehe had a two-run double to chase HSU starter Jordan Dotson. Another run had scored on a wild pitch.
The Panthers made it 6-2 in the sixth with a squeeze bunt by Adam Velez to score a run. HSU scored two runs in the sixth on a two-run single by Jon Finney. Chapman made it 7-4 when Jeff Ortega doubled and then scored on back-to-back wild pitches from Parker Robinson.
HSU went to its closer Tyler Brunnemann to get the final out of the seventh with two runners on. In the bottom of the seventh, Colson Craddick had a one-out single and with two outs Zack Patino singles and Jacques walked to load the bases. Reagor then hit a liner to the gap in right center field and with the runners off and running Craddick and Patino came around to score easily and Jacques scored from first as Reagor moved to second on a bobble in the outfield. Brunnemann worked a scoreless eighth and then in the bottom of the eighth Andrew Bell had a one-out double and Nicholson was intentionally walked. Craddick walked to load the bases and Thornton pinch hit for Jason Vause.
Thornton hit a smash that third baseman Braden Riddle dove and deflected it to the shortstop who was able to throw it back to Riddle to get a force out, but Bell came in to score.
Brunnemann worked a scoreless ninth, getting a double play to end the game. Brunnemann earned a save and a win in the series. His win on Saturday moved his record to 1-1 on the year.
Matt Smith allowed six earned runs in six and two-third innings and Matt Molnar took the loss in relief for Chapman.
Finney, Bell, Craddick, Jacques and Reagor each had two hits for HSU. Greg Dillon, Velez, Tyler Surnbrock, Andrew Carbajal, and Molnar had two hits each for Chapman.
HSU is now 19-12 on the year and Chapman fell to 12-17. HSU will play Arlington Baptist at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Information provided by HSU Athletics Dept.
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