BELTON, Texas — Hardin-Simmons' rallied from a late deficit and eventually beat Mary Hardin-Baylor 9-8 in 11 innings in a wild American Southwest Conference West Division opener for both teams at Red Murff Field in Belton.
HSU trailed 6-3 going into the ninth inning, but rallied for five runs. Sam Van Hoozer came on in relief of Cameron Graham, who had held the Cowboys in check for the first eight innings. Andrew Rehling had a double to lead off the inning and Chris Matthews and Austin Cantwell each followed with singles to load the bases. Brian Weeks followed with a sacrifice fly to score Rehling and LeJuan Edwards singled through the left side to score Jason Vause, who had pitch ran for Matthews. Jay Hiller then singled in Cantwell to tie the game and after a strikeout freshman Cody Jarboe had a two-run single to right to make it 8-6.
Derek Draeger had a one-out walk in the ninth and Reinaldo Araujo reached on cathcer's interference. Seth Lynn then flew out to deep left field to move up both runners. Logan Pratt then pinch hit for the Cru and hit a routine grounder to short that should have ended the game, but Brian Weeks' throw was high and into the HSU dugout to allow both runs to score and retie the game.
HSU scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th when Taylor Berlin singled to left with two outs and came around to score on a Troy Tarrant triple that hit the wall and bounced back toward the infield.
James Simmons (3-1) earned the win for the Cowboys, but was ejected after striking out Bradem Embry to end the 10th inning. Skylar Sillivent worked the 11th for the save. He allowed a walk and hit in the 11th, but struck out Garrett Kinney and got a flyout from pinch-hitter Tim Yan, that Andrew Rehling caught at the wall to end the game.
Sam Walker started and went five and a third innings. He allowed six runs on eight hits will striking out four. Tyler Brunnemann worked a scoreless inning and Michael Reinhardt worked and inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief.
Graham went eight innings and allowed only three runs. Van Hoozer allowed five runs in his inning of work and Ricky Brenek took the loss.
Up until the ninth the game seemed fairly normal. Brian Weeks led the game off with a home run for the Cowboys and then UMHB answered with five runs in the bottom of the first. Zach Young reached on a ball lost in the sun and then Josh Frederick followed with a single and Embry walked to load the bases. Derek Drager had an RBI single and then Walker hung a pitch to Araujo who hit a ball into left and the 25 MPH wind carried it out for a grand slam.
The Cowboys added two runs in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Jarboe and an RBI single by Rehling. Zach Crosswhite had a solo home run in the fourth and it stayed 6-3 until the ninth.
Rehling had three hits for the Cowboys and Jarboe drove in three runs. Zach Young, Josh Frederick, Crosswhite and Draeger had two hits each for UMHB and Arauhjo drove in four and had three stellar plays in centerfield.
The Cowboys are now 12-4 on the year and 1-0 in league play. UMHB snapped a four-game winning streak and fell to 7-8 overall and 0-1 in league play. The teams will play a noon doubleheader on Saturday.
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