BROWNWOOD, Texas -- Hardin-Simmons' baseball team received a three-hit shutout from James Simmons in a 5-0 win over Howard Payne to clinch a spot in next weekend's American Southwest Conference Championship Series.
HSU dropped the second game of the doubleheader 4-1 to drop the series two games to one.
The Cowboys did all of their scoring in two innings. Jon Finney had an RBI groundout in the third and scored four runs in the fourth. Colson Craddick had an RBI double, Trey Thompson followed with an RBI triple, Caleb Jacques had an RBI single and Jason Vause had a sacrifice fly.
Simmons was dominant as he struck out eight and allowed two bloop singles and an infield hit. It was his third complete-game shutout of the year as he improved to 5-5.
Craddick had two hits for HSU and Sam Dollahite had a pair of hits for HPU.
Carlton Brown took the loss for HPU allowing five runs in four innings of work.
In the second game, HSU scored its lone run in the second inning on an RBI groundout by Vause.
Howard Payne scored three runs in the third inning on a Hunter Holmes RBI single, a Ben Butler sacrifice fly and a Brown RBI double. Ryan Klose had a sacrifice fly in the fourth to make it 4-1.
Jordan Dotson (3-3) took the loss for the Cowboys allowing three runs in two innings. Brandon Bollinger worked four innings and allowed just one unearned run and Tyler Brunnemann worked two scoreless innings.
Gilbert Barrera (5-6) earned the win for HPU with five innings of work. He did not allow an earned run. Jonathan Morris worked a scoreless ninth for his second save.
Dollahite had two hits for HPU and three different Cowboys had one hit each.
The Cowboys are now 22-17 on the year and HSU finished conference with a record of 8-10. HSU is the fourth seed out of the ASC West and will play at Texas-Tyler in a best two-of-three series next weekend in Tyler. The Patriots won a series earlier in the season from HSU, 2-1.
HPU closed its season with a record of 21-19 overall and 7-11 in ASC play. It was the first time since 2003 HSU lost a series to HPU.
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