ABILENE, Texas - The McMurry baseball program saw its home record drop back to the .500 mark, as the War Hawks were defeated, 9-6, at the hands of Tarleton State University on Tuesday afternoon.
The War Hawks, as they often do, jumped out to a quick lead, as they struck for two runs in the bottom of the first inning. After Zack Hagan reached base, and Dylan De Leon singled up the middle, Jon Mejia and Cody Howard registered back-to-back, RBI singles to give McMurry the 2-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Caleb Gonzales ran through the Tarleton State lineup, facing the minimum batters through the first three innings of play. Then, despite giving up two hits in the top of the fourth, Gonzales got himself out of the inning, keeping TSU off the board, and preserving the 2-0 lead through four innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, the War Hawks posted two more runs to expand the lead. Jeremy Ruiz led off the inning with a single up the middle and was advanced to third on a walk issued to Nick Marsh, and a fielders choice by Dyland De Leon. With runners on first and third, Eric Moritz double to the left-field wall to score both Ruiz and De Leon and give McMurry the 4-0 advantage.
In the top of the fifth, Tarleton State came roaring back, as they sent 10 batters to the plate, collected five hits and five runs to take the 5-4 advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, however, Jon Mejia was able to tie up the game with one swing of the bat. With one out in the inning, Mejia, who was batting in the clean-up position, took a 2-1 pitch over the right field fence for his first home run of the season to tie the game, 5-5.
The contest was quickly untied in the top of the sixth when the Texans struck for two runs, with the big hit coming from an RBI single by Jared Musgrove. TSU took the lead 7-5 and would keep the lead for good.
McM would add one more run in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Mortiz, which scored Ricky Garcia to cut the lead to one, 7-6, before the Texans struck for two more runs in the top of the eighth to finish the scoring at 9-6.
Offensively, Mejia went 2-for-5 on the day with two RBI while Cody Howard also collected two hits in the contest, with an RBI. Moritz was the leading RBI man on the day for McM, as he totaled three.
McM will be back in action on Thursday as they travel to Edmond, Oklahoma for a nine-inning contest against Oklahoma Christian, before heading up to Wichita, Kansas for a three-game set with Newman University. The nine-inning affair with OCU is slated for a 2 p.m. start.
Information provided by McMurry athletics department.