UT Tyler Caps Off Series Sweep of La. College

Saturday, April 10, 2010

TYLER – After the tears were wiped away from an emotional pregame ceremony honoring departing head coach James Vilade, UT Tyler gave him his best going away present, sweeping the final two games of a three-game season series against Louisiana College by 8-1 and 19-8 scores.

UT Tyler improved to 26-8 overall and 14-0 in ASC East play, winning its sixth consecutive series in conference play. The Patriots hit an impressive .473 as a team during the three games, tallying 46 runs off 52 hits, including a season-high 23 hits in the series finale.

Louisiana College (11-20, 4-8 ASC) scored first in the opening game of the day in the top half of the first, using a Mike Doughty sac fly that scored Cody Laprarie. The Wildcats loaded the bases with no outs, but could only push across one run in the inning as starting hurler Chase Willard escaped a jam.

The Patriots responded with a run of their own in the bottom half, getting a sac fly from Cody Jones to tie it at 1-1.

Austin Newell's RBI-single in the third – one of five RBIs in the game – gave UT Tyler its first lead at 2-1, with Jones following with a two-out RBI-single of his own a batter later to stretch the lead to 3-1.

That's all the run support Willard would need, as the junior left-hander gave up just two hits the final six innings in improving to 7-0 on the mound this season in a complete-game performance. His offense would add two more runs in the fifth and three in the sixth for the 8-1 win in the opener in seven innings.

Again the Wildcats scored first to start the second game, getting a two-out RBI-single from Walt McGee, only to see the Patriots erase the deficit with a five-run bottom of the first.

The Patriots scored five runs off four hits and three Wildcat errors, getting RBI-singles from Jones and Tyler Clakley as well as RBI-doubles from Justin Juneau and Jordon Vierra.

LC responded with a six-run second to retake the lead briefly at 7-5, chasing starter Jameson Holt after just 1 1/3 innings. The Wildcats loaded the bases with one out, scoring their first two runs off an error and Holt wild pitch. McGee and Jonathan Ettinger would follow with RBI-singles to tie the game at 5-5 before Chris Waguespack's sac fly made it a one-run lead for LC.

Corey Henderson's leadoff walk to start the second helped get the Patriots' offense going, as they loaded the bases with one out. Back-to-back two-RBI singles from Clakley and Juneau pushed UT Tyler back in front at 9-7, with Jake Ashley's RBI shot up the middle capped a five-run frame of its own for a 10-7 lead after two.

UT Tyler would cruise from there behind the arms of Matt Shimpf and Logan Chitwood, who combined to throw a six-hitter the final 6 2/3, scoring nine of the game's final 10 runs to earn the 19-8 run-rule win in eight innings.

Ten different Patriots recorded a hit in the finale, led by Juneau who went a career-high 5-for-6 from the plate with five RBIs. Henderson, Jones and Vierra also had three hits apiece in the win.

Winners in 23 of their last 27, the Patriots travel to Austin College Wednesday for a single game at 4 p.m. They'll then hit the road for their final ASC series of the regular season at Mississippi College April 16-17 and will need to win just one game to clinch a fourth consecutive ASC East Division Championship.