@uttylerbaseball advances to title game on Hollenshead homer
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#4 Texas-Tyler (27-15)
#1 Concordia Texas (28-14)
5/7/2016 | Austin, Texas | Attendance: 400
Concordia Texas000001020342
Win: Reese Read (3-0) 1.200000
Loss: Smith (3-2) 9.01042111
Blake Wilson (UTT) 523000
Evan (CTX) 221020
Rodriguez (CTX) 101100
Valadez (CTX) 101100
Ortega (CTX) 401000

Saturday, May 7, 2016
by Wes Bloomquist | wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

AUSTIN – UT Tyler second baseman Braxton Hollenshead drilled the first pitch of the ninth inning over the left-field fence for a home run and Reese Read closed out bottom of the inning with a 1-2-3 frame to lead the Patriots to a 4-3 win over Concordia on Saturday and to the American Southwest Conference Blue Bracket Championship. UT Tyler advances to the bracket’s championship game at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Tornado Field against the Texas Dallas which earned a 12-8 elimination-game win over CTX in Saturday's final game. The Patriots will need one win to advanced while the Comets will have to beat them twice.

“It’s always great to earn a win like that in a winner’s bracket game that sends your team to the championship,” UT Tyler head coach Chris Bertrand said. “We’re most proud of the way we did it though. I think that win showed a lot about our team. We challenged our guys to jump out early and we did that. We showed some resolve when they came back and tied the game. Some bounces didn’t go our way in the middle innings, but we battled back and never gave up. It was a total team effort. It’s always great to say we are going to play for a championship tomorrow.”


Hollenshead, who hit his first home run of the season last weekend at Sul Ross, stepped in the batter’s box after the Tornados had scored two runs in the eighth inning to tie the game. He had also just ended the inning by stranding the bases loaded when he caught a line drive at second and flipped it to Alex Bishop at first base for a double play. With a tie game and a 3-0 lead gone, Hollenshead’s home run and Read closing out the game sends the Patriots their second straight ASC tournament final.

“I haven’t performed like I’ve wanted to all season,” Hollenshead said. “My teammates have always backed me up when I’ve been struggling. Everyone has been behind me and picked me up all year. I thought it was my time to show them that I was there for them and handle this one. All I was thinking was ‘let’s get this win’.”

Read (3-0) earned the win after entering in the eighth with one out and the bases load. UT Tyler’s closer threw a ball and two strikes before Adam Ortega lined the next pitch to a drawn-in Hollenshead who caught the ball and turned two to minimize damage. Read’s win came after starter Michael Blevins put on a show for seven innings.

Blevins left the game with a 3-1 lead and with nine strikeouts that matched his single-season record that he also had last year in a win over Ozarks. A senior right-hander, Blevins did not permit a single hit until the sixth inning and exited with only three hits on the board and one run that came on a double off the left-field wall. He has now recorded 15 strikeouts in his last two starts after having six in a 7-inning win at Sul Ross last Saturday and has 50 strikeouts through 54 2/3 innings this season.

“I was really hitting my spots and the fastball was moving all over the place,” said Blevins, who is third in program history with 144 strikeouts. “That was nice and the change-up just kept getting better as the game went on. I had a good outing here in the tournament last year and I was just trying to bring that same kind of energy and vibe.”

The Patriots finished the game with 10 hits in the game with Blake Wilson going 3-for-5 from the second spot in the lineup, while Daniel Williams and Hollenshead each went 2-for-4. UT Tyler, which was the visiting team against CTX, scored its first run of the game with Wilson singling to center and advancing to second on a Bishop single. With two outs, Sam Lane drove in the game’s first run with a single to left-center field. The Patriots would take a 3-0 lead with two in the third with Buchhorn driving in his conference-leading 54th run of the season on a single through the right-side of the infield and then Williams driving in the third run with a single of his own. Bishop went 1-for-4 with a walk and has now reached base in 29 straight games for the Patriots, while he and Wilson are on seven-game hitting streaks entering Sunday’s bracket championship.

UT Tyler pitchers limited the Tornados to four hits in the game and the pitching staff now has 17 strikeouts and a 2.00 staff ERA through two tournament games.

The ASC Championship Blue Bracket winner will advance to the ASC Championship Gold Bracket where they will meet the Red Bracket winner which is being played this weekend in Marshall.