ABILENE, Texas - The McMurry University baseball team dropped both games of a double header to Heartland Conference foe, St. Edward's University, on Friday afternoon. McM fell in game one, 4-3, before losing game two, 3-1.
Despite a third-straight solid pitching performance by Spencer Smith, and a one-run lead heading into the last inning, McM dropped the first contest, 4-3.
McMurry got on board first in the bottom of the second inning. Dylan De Leon got the ball rolling in the inning roping a single to left field. After a walk to Eric Preuss moved De Leon to second, Zack Hagan came to the plate with two outs and delivered an RBI single, which scored De Leon to make the advantage 1-0 in favor of the War Hawks.
Trailing by a run, the Hilltoppers quickly erased the deficit when Wes Koenig took and 0-2 pitch and hit it off the score board in left field for his first home run of the season to tie the game at 1-1.
McM would capture the lead back in the bottom of the fifth inning. After a Hagan single and a walk to Nick Marsh, Ruben Zendejas laid down a nice sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third with one out. Ricky Garcia<http://www.mcmurrysports.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3489> then singled to the outfield, which scored Hagan for the go ahead run. Marsh also tried to score on the single, but a close play at the plate did not go in the War Hawks favor, and McM settled for the one run to take the 2-1 lead.
Like earlier in the game, the Hilltoppers responded in the next half inning. A lead-off double by Taylor Johnson, followed by back-to-back sacrifice hits helped St. Edward's tie the game at 2-2.
McMurry would take the lead in the game one more time in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jeffers Rader singled to start the inning. After he advanced to second on a balk, he then moved to third on a groundout. John Mejia then drove in Rader to give McM the 3-2 with just a half inning to play.
The War Hawks were not able to hold on to the win, however, as closer Charlie Hejny gave up two earned runs in the top of the seventh, and the Hilltoppers held on to take the 4-3 victory.
In the contest, Smith once again was solid, allowing just four hits and two earned runs over the course of six innings.
Offensively, Hagan led the way, collecting two hits and a RBI in the contest.
In game two, the War Hawks once again found themselves on the wrong side of a pitchers dual, as they fell 3-1.
St. Edward's never trailed in game two, scoring one run in the second and another in the fifth before McMurry was able to cut the lead to 2-1 on a RBI triple by Eric Moritz in the bottom of the seventh inning.
In the top of the ninth, however, the Hilltoppers were able to add the insurance run they needed, and McMurry fell for the fifth-straight time, 3-1.
In game two, Jared Hopper went six strong innings while striking out six and allowing just two earned runs.
Reversely, St. Edward's Brannon Easterlin threw a complete game, allowing just one earned run while scattering nine hits over nine innings of work and striking out three.
Offensively, Jon Mejia led the War Hawks, going 4-for-4 with a double on the day. Moritz was the only other player with a multiple hit game, collecting two and the lone RBI.
The War Hawks and Hilltoppers will play one more nine-inning contest on Saturday, February 16 to finish the three-game set. The contest is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.
Information for this story provided by McMurry Sports Information.