PREVIEW: @UTTylerBaseball opens ASC play at HPU
UT Tyler (7-1, 1-0 ASC)
Howard Payne (3-5, 0-1 ASC)
2/24/2017 | Brownwood, Texas | Attendance: 135
UT Tyler30070011012153
Howard Payne00512003011123
Win: Evan Kissinger (2-0) 1.100000
Loss: J. George (0-2) 3.21210602
Trenton Buchhorn (UTTBB) 513300
N. Payne (HPU) 423200

Thursday, February 23, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist ||

TYLER – The No. 18-ranked UT Tyler baseball team is on a five-game winning streak as it opens American Southwest Conference play this weekend with a three-game set against Howard Payne on Friday and Saturday at Don Shepard Park in Brownwood.

The Patriots (6-1) took a 7-3 non-conference win over Southwestern on Tuesday, while HPU (3-4) is coming off a four-game split last weekend against Sul Ross in Alpine. UT Tyler won two of three from the Yellow Jackets last season at Irwin Field. The series starts at 2 p.m. on Friday before the teams play a noon doubleheader on Saturday.

Cason Adams (1-0) is scheduled to make the start in Friday’s opener for the Patriots and enters the game with 12 strikeouts through 12 1/3 innings of work. A senior right-hander from Rockwall, Adams has won 18 games in his career including starting this season with a victory over Trinity in Mississippi where he had seven strikeouts. He earned ASC Pitcher of the Week for that performance and followed it up with five strikeouts in a no-decision against Mary Hardin-Baylor last Saturday in a game the Patriots won. Cody Brown will start the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader after being named this week’s ASC Pitcher of the Week. Brown (1-1) is coming off striking out eight and earning a win against Trinity last Friday. Ryan Cheatham (2-0) is scheduled to start the finale and is coming off a win over Centenary last Sunday where he limited the Gents to five hits in seven innings. A junior right-hander from Whitehouse, Cheatham started his UT Tyler career with a win over Maryville two weeks ago in Mississippi. The starters have been backed up by the UT Tyler bullpen which has not allowed a run in 19 innings of work. Hunter Palmer had led the bullpen with six strikeouts in seven innings with two saves, while left-hander Miles Thomas has six strikeouts and 6 2/3 innings of scoreless work on his resume. Evan Kissinger (1-0) earned the win over UMHB and has thrown two scoreless innings this season, while Reese Read also has two saves and has four strikeouts in three innings.

Daniel Williams leads the Patriots coming into the series with a .581 average that includes two home runs, a double and 15 singles. He has driven in 11 runs and is coming off a weekend where he went 8-for-12 during the three-game span at the Clements Fluids Classic and then going 3-for-6 with two RBI and a home run against the Pirates in Georgetown. A senior designated hitter from Katy, Williams is the only Patriot to have hits in all seven games this season. Trenton Buchhorn is second on the team with 11 hits and has a .379 batting average, while center fielder Jared Pauley has nine hits (.300) Alex Bishop is hitting .333 with eight hits. Gunnar Quick leads the team with three doubles and eight runs scored, while Brady McCoy has four RBI on five hits. Bishop has hit two home runs this season and has 10 in his career. UT Tyler is hitting .325 as a team with 10 doubles and four home runs this season.

UT Tyler will venture outside of ASC play after this weekend when it travels to LSU-Alexandria for a midweek game on Tuesday before returning home to begin an 11-game home stand. That run of home contests starts next weekend with a three-game set against Belhaven on March 3-4 at Irwin Field.