Baseball drops Two Close Games to Austin College on Friday

Crusaders look to avoid sweep on Saturday.
Crusaders look to avoid sweep on Saturday.

IRVING, Texas – It was a difficult Friday afternoon for the University of Dallas baseball team, as two comeback efforts in the last at bat resulted in being short a run to Austin College.

Game one saw the Crusaders charge out to a 4-0 advantage, but the visitors responded with runs from the third inning through the seventh to later go up by as many as three runs (9-6). After a sacrifice fly by Nathan Patton (McKinney, Texas) in the eighth knotted the score at nine, it would not be until the 11th inning that either side plated at least a run. The 'Roos outscored UD 3-2 that frame, and claimed the series opener.

A 7-0 start in the second contest propelled Austin College to a nice lead. Totaling no more than two runs in an inning, but again using a long stretch of consecutive scoring innings (2nd-6th) helped the guests build the sizable margin. Dallas finally got on the board in the sixth with two runs. Drama in the last two innings made things close, but a fly out to center with the tying run on second sealed another one-run setback.

(Game 1 Information) (Final 11 Innings)

Team Scores: Austin (12), Dallas (11)

Team Records: Austin (7-9, 1-3 SCAC), Dallas (8-16, 1-6 SCAC)

Pitcher Records: W) Taff (2-0) L) Voss (3-5)

The Crusaders jumped ahead 3-0 in their first turn to bat. Powered by four hits, including three straight from Jessup Scott (Lewiston, Idaho), Patton, and Zachary Taylor (Humble, Texas) got UD on the board. After Taylor's RBI single, a passed ball moved Patton and him to scoring position. Luke Boylson (Fairview, Texas) lifted a sacrifice fly out to drive in the second run. A double to right center by Mark Peterson (Cincinnati, Ohio) completed the scoring that inning.

Dallas was able to scratch across a run in each of the next three frames to double its run output to six. The 'Roos had produced a three-spot in the top of the third to reduce the deficit to 4-3. Michael Illardi (Atascocita, Texas) doubled in Seth Hanson (Apache Junction, Ariz.) in the next half inning to stretch the lead back to a pair.

Teams traded runs in the fourth, and then AC turned the momentum by plating five runs in a row. Down a run in the sixth, James Arguello singled up the middle and Justin Alphonse doubled to right to give the 'Roos their first lead of the day at 7-6. A two-run homer by Austin Dudley in the seventh cleared the left field wall to extend the margin.

After being sat down in order the last two innings, UD responded with back-to-back singles from Taylor and Boylson. Peterson walked to load the bases with an out, and two batters later Ilardi singled to left field to get two runs back in that home seventh.

Jordan Stickler (Grand Rapids, Mich.) led off the next inning with a single to center and eventually was the tying run on Patton's ribbie.

A quiet ninth from both sides led to extra innings. The Crusaders escaped a bases-loaded jam with Josh Boring grounding out to a force play at second. In the bottom of the inning, Stickler stole his 20th base of the campaign but would get picked off.

Dudley put the 'Roos back in front with a triple down to the right field corner that scored two. Brett Taff doubled down the left field line for a key insurance run.

UD was back in it with no outs and all the bases occupied. Hanson smacked a deep fly ball to the warning track in left that would drive in a run. A dropped ball by the right fielder allowed another run to easily score, but due to the runners holding up a force at second counted for the second out.

Taff, who earned the win with four innings of relief work, would get the final out to finish off the nailbiting game. He yielded the two runs on four hits to go with one walk.

UD had two relievers throw over three innings to relieve starter Tyler Montemayor (Boerne, Texas). Abraham Griesbauer (Troy, Mo.) surrendered four runs (3 earned) in 3.2 innings, and Conrad Voss (Corona, Calif.) was saddled with the loss after giving up his only runs in three innings of work. The two left-handers combined for the team's only three strikeouts.

Scott and Taylor led the Crusaders offensively with four hits apiece. Ilardi drove in a team-high three runs, while Patton and Taylor each recorded a pair. Stickler, Patton, and Ilardi counted the remaining multi-hit showings for Dallas, who were outdone 18-16 in that category.

Dudley and Taff both matched the game-high four hits and combined for seven RBI with four and three, respectively. The top six hitters in the lineup were responsible for all the runs driven in. AC combined for eight extra-base hits with five doubles, including both of Alphonse's knocks.

(Game 2 Information)

Team Scores: Austin (7), Dallas (6)

Team Records: Austin (8-9, 2-3 SCAC), Dallas (8-17, 1-7 SCAC)

Pitcher Records: W) Culp (1-3) L) Wallace (1-2), S) Scruggs (1)

In this matchup it was the 'Roos that struck early and took a commanding advantage throughout the first five and a half innings. In the second, Cody Goggins homered to right to make it 2-0. Dudley added a run with a double to left center in the third. Alphonse then tagged a homer to left field for another two run shot that opened a 5-0 advantage in the fourth.

A run in the fifth and sixth ended the surge for AC, and then the Crusaders countered by chipping into the deficit. Stickler singled up the middle to keep his on-base streak going at 56 to drive in Hanson and Paul Scioli (Lubbock, Texas). Dallas had four hits that inning, but two fly outs after getting on the scoreboard left the gap at 7-2.

In the eighth, Dallas used a walk and hit by pitch to threaten again. A two-out hit by Patton plated a run, but that was all for the Crusaders.

Down to their last chance to hit, Boylson doubled – lone UD hit for extra bases in game - to left field to begin the excitement. Hanson walked and then Ilardi dropped blooper in center to load the bags. After a pitching change for Collin Maynard, Scioli was walked to cut the score to 7-4. Ryan Scruggs promptly was brought in to look to extinguish the trouble.

UD got another run on a double play that was hit, but it left the team down to its final out. Stickler walked and then drew a pickoff throw that got by into the outfield. It allowed Ilardi to race home and narrow things at one. Stickler also reached second on the miscue, but would be stranded as the 'Roos swept the doubleheader.

Dallas outhit its opponent 13-12, but stranded 14 runners in the contest. Patton matched a game-high three hits. Boylson, Hanson, and Ilardi all followed in order with multi-hit performances.

Jamie Wallace (Crockett, Texas) took the loss in the start as he yielded six runs (5 earned) on eight hits in five innings. William Bresnahan (Windham, N.H.) tossed two scoreless innings to keep UD in the game.

Alphonse went 3-for-4 with two RBI and runs scored, and Boring matched the game-high with a  3-for-4 as well to go with two runs scored.

Ryan Culp earned the win by going seven innings in the start. He worked around 10 hits and a walk while striking out three. Scruggs held on for the save.


These teams conclude the series on Saturday. First pitch is set for 12 p.m.