ABILENE, Texas - The McMurry University baseball team received an all-around solid performance from its pitching staff as it took game three of a three-game series against Texas A&M International University, 3-2, to earn the 2-1 series victory over the Heartland Conference's top team. Starting pitchers for both programs came out strong as both McMurry's Chase Moreland, and TAMIU's Baylor Bickerton did not allow a run through the first five innings of the contest. It wasn't until the top of the sixth that the Dustdevils broke the 0-0 tie. After a walk and a single, a passed ball allowed the runners to advance to second and third with just one out. A sacrifice fly by Rick Alanis score Hector Gonzalez to make the lead 1-0. The next batter, Matt Garcia also drove in a run on a weak single to the middle of the infield to extend the lead to 2-0. McMurry, however would answer right back in the bottom half of the sixth inning. With two outs in the inning, McM was able to rally thanks to a single by Jeremy Ruiz which started things off. After back-to-back walks were issued to Adam Neubaur and Ricky Garcia to load the bases, Eric Moritz came through with a timely, two-out, two-RBI single to left field which tied the game at 2-2. In the top of the seventh, Moreland walked the first batter of the inning and was relieved by Charlie Hejny. Hejny then followed suit by walking the next two batters to load the bases with no outs. However, the senior reliever was not fazed. After getting a force out at home for out number one, Hejny caught a line drive off the bat of Gonzalez and quickly doubled off the runner at third to end the threat and keep the score tied 2-2. After Hejny worked a scoreless eighth inning, the War Hawks were able to capture the lead once again. With Ruben Zendejas on second base and Jeremy Ruiz on first, Neubaur hit into what looked like an inning-ending double play. However, great hustle allowed Neubaur to reach first safely and moved Zendejas to third with two outs. Ricky Garcia then took two-out, full-count pitch and hit it past the outstretched second basemen to score Zendejas and give McM the 3-2 lead. Jared Hopper would then work a scoreless ninth inning, ending the game on a double play, to give McMurry the 3-2 victory and the 2-1 series win. On the mound, Moreland pitched a solid game, going six innings while allowing just four hits and striking out four. Offensively, Moritz led the way, going 3-for-4 on the day with two RBIs. Ruiz also collected two hits in the contest, while four other players collected a hit, each. With his three hits, Moritz improved his batting average to a team-leading, .389 on the season. McM will be back in action at Walt Driggers Field on Tuesday, March 5, when it will play host to the Texans of Tarleton State University. The double-header is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.
Information provided by McMurry Athletics Dept.
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