TYLER, Texas - Hardin-Simmons' baseball team saw its season come to an end with a dramatic 11-10 loss to Texas-Tyler on Saturday at Irwin Field in Tyler.
The Patriots were the home team and got off to a quick start with a Sam Lane triple and a Jeff Kosta double for a 1-0 lead in the first. HSU responded with six runs in the bottom of the inning.
Jon Finney led off the first with a single, Marcus Uechi walked and Andrew Bell singled home Finney. Troy Nicholson had an RBI single. After a lineout, Colson Craddick walked and Zack Patino followed with a two-run single to left center. Caleb Jacques walked to load the bases and Jason Vause walked with the bases loaded to chase starter Jack Barkley. Finney greeted new pitcher Joshua Holley with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-1.
UTT scored two runs in the third on a Kosta RBI double and a T.J. Martin RBI single. Trey Thompson homered to right center in the third and the Patriots scored three times in the fourth on a Stephen Back RBI triple, a Kosta RBI ground out and an Issac Tijerina triple.
The Patriots scored three more times in the fifth inning. Billy Lirely had an RBI single, Will Allen an RBI double and Kosta an RBI single to chase HSU starter James Simmons and give the Patriots a 9-8 lead. Tyler Brunnemann came on in the fifth and struck out Kevan House with the bases loaded.
Brunnemann was brilliant and retired the first 12 batters he faced before Allen worked a walk and Lively, a .190 hitter on the year squared up a pitch and drove it over the centerfield wall in the top of the ninth for a 11-8 Patriot lead. Brunnemann worked four and one-third innings and struck out seven batters.
Tye Weber kept the Cowboys off the board for three innings and Matt Sheppard worked a scoreless eighth and the Patriots went to the NCAA save leader Derek Miller in the ninth. Weber earned the win.
HSU did not go quietly. Patino led off with a single and Jacques walked. Vasuse reached on a fielder's choice to put runners on the corners. Finney then delivered a two-run double to left center. Uechi then hit a hard line drive that Martin, who was a defensive stalwart all weekend long, caught right before it hit the ground and fired to second to double off Finney and give Miller his 14th save.
Simmons (5-6) took the loss for the Cowboys, allowing nine runs on 12 hits in four and two-third innings.
Finney led the Cowboys with four hits in the game Kosta had three hits for the Patriots and drove in four runs. Lirely had three hits as well.
HSU finished the season with a record of 22-20 and UTT improved to 32-10 and will host next weekend's ASC Championship Tournament.
It was the final game for nine HSU seniors – Brunnemann, Simmons, Bell, Nicholson, Matt Hannagan, Stewart Person, Jordan Dotson, Parker Robinson and Chris Matthews.
Information provided by HSU athletics department.