SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College baseball team split its crucial doubleheader against Southwestern University on Saturday evening, falling 25-7 in game one before bouncing back with a much needed 12-2 game two victory. The 'Roos are now 12-12 overall and 5-6 in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference game.
The 'Roos and Pirates will meet once more tomorrow in what could determine the final seed in the SCAC Tournament, with Austin College currently holding a slight lead in the standings over Southwestern, which is 6-8 in conference play.
Game one got away from Austin College early, as control problems plagued the 'Roos from the start. Austin College issued 19 walks in the game and Southwestern took advantage, plating seven runs in the first inning and later erupting for 16 runs in the fourth as they went ahead 24-5.
In between, the 'Roos put five runs across in a second inning that saw three Austin College home runs in the first four batters. Brett Taff led off the inning with a homer, and two batters later Justin Alphonse blasted a 2-run shot. Cody Goggins followed Alphonse with a solo homer to cut it to a 7-5 game, but the Pirates got one run in the third and then had their huge fourth frame.
Christian Thomas took the loss for Austin College, surrendering six runs – three earned – on two hits with four walks in 0.2 innings of work. Taff and Goggins each had two hits for Austin College in defeat.
A first inning error opened the door for two runs by the Pirates in game two, but after that Chase Almaguer would lock Southwestern down on his way to a complete game victory. Almaguer went the distance with just one earned run allowed on four hits, while striking out a career-best six batters.
After trailing 2-0 through three innings, Austin College came alive in the fourth with eight runs in the frame, capped off by a grand slam from Taff to make it an 8-2 game. Bennett Reagan would single home two more runs in the fifth, and James Arguello added a 2-run base hit in the sixth to make it a 12-2 game, and that's how things would end.
Arguello finished 2-for-3 and Taff went 1-for-2 with three runs scored and four RBI to pace the 'Roos at the dish.
Austin College and Southwestern will wrap up their three-game series tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at Baker Field.