Patriots Take Season Opener 7-4 Against UMHB

Friday, February 11, 2011
by Clay Ihlo

The inaugural game of Paul Wyczawski’s reign as UT Tyler's baseball head coach ended in a 7-4 victory over Mary Hardin-Baylor on Friday night. The Patriots recorded 10 hits and committed only one error in the season opener.

The Crusaders pushed across a run in the first inning. Zach Young reached base with one out on a bloop single to left. Chris Joshlin drilled a double to center on the next at-bat to score Young.

UT Tyler responded with three runs in the bottom of the first. UMHB starter Chance Ryan struck out the first two Patriot batters of the game but walked the next three. Hayden Chick then singled to center to drive in Aaron McCain and Justin Juneau. David Ring followed with a double down the righ tfield line to plate Jordan Vierra.

Patriot starter Matt Schimpf settled down on the mound, striking out two in the second and one in the third and fourth innings.

The Patriots scored two runs in the third to take a 5-1 lead. McCain led off the inning with a single to right. Juneau reached next on a single that struck the Ryan’s foot. Ryan hurried the throw to first and missed wide, allowing McCain to move to third and Juneau to second.

Vierra then plated McCain on a groundout to second and Juneau scored on a single by Chick.

UMHB cut the Patriots’ lead to two in the top of the fifth when Ricky Brenek singled with one out and scored on a fielder’s choice. Jeremy Sapp also scored in the inning on a double by Joshlin.

UT Tyler, however, pushed their advantage back to four in the bottom of the fifth. Vierra led off with a single and later scored on a single by Nick Clifton. Ring doubled and scored on a fielder’s choice by Josh Bates to take a 7-3 lead.

The Cru scored their final run in the eighth inning as Braden Embry doubled with one out and scored on a single by Josh Fredrick.

“You sure like to win your opener every year,” Wyczawski said. “I thought the kids played well today … (Schimpf) has been great in the bullpen and in scrimmages. He’s a strike thrower, keeps the ball down and turns it to both sides of the plate. If you do that you’ve got a chance to be good every time.”

Schimpf earned the win by pitching six innings, allowing only one earned run and recording seven strike outs. Kory Cleveland pitched the remaining three innings, giving up two hits and one run.

The Patriots are back in action Saturday with a double-header against UMHB. Game one is set to begin a 1 p.m. with Chad Sherman starting for UT Tyler.