March 18, 2017 - Contributed by Chad Grubbs, HSU Director of Athletic Communications
ABILENE, Texas - Howard Payne rallied twice with four-run rallies in their final at-bat to sweep an American Southwest Conference doubleheader over Hardin-Simmons, 6-4 and 13-11, on Saturday afternoon at Hunter Field.
Garrett Johnston was dealing for the Cowboys and led 4-0 in the first game, which was a seven-inning contest. Johnston had allowed just two hits until the seventh. Then Brett Quackenbush doubled to lead off the inning and Kyle Winstead and Ben Lewis walked to load the bases and end the day for Johnston.
Mike Richardson came on for the Cowboys and Quackenbush scored on a wild pitch and then David Groves doubled to center to drive in two runs. The jackets then reload the bases and Joshua Gerig had an RBI single to tie the game. Blake Northrop came on for the Cowboys and Noah Payne greeted him with a two-run double to give the Jackets a 6-4 lead.
Garrett Buckner had an RBI single for the Cowboys in the fourth and Colton Parker had a two-run double in the fifth and Cody Berryman had an inside-the-park home run in the sixth to give HSU the 4-0 lead.
Kyle Ramon started and struck out nine Cowboys in five innings and Wesley Smith worked an inning and picked up the win. Zach Moseley worked the seventh for his sixth save of the year.
Berryman, Zack de Luna and Dylan Sweeney had two-hits each for the Cowboys and eight different HPU hitters had one hit each.
The second game was a slugfest from the outset. Taylor Cooling reached on a two-base error in the first moved to third on a sac bunt and scored on an Anthony Beasley sacrifice fly in the first. HPU scored twice in the second on an Ian Tyra RBI fielder’s choice and a Chris Byrd RBI single.
HSU answered with two runs in the second. Berryman had a sacrifice fly Gunny Evans an RBI single and Cooling hit a two-run home run to left field. HPU scored three runs on four hits in the third to tie the game at 5-5.
The Cowboys made it 7-5 in the fifth with a two-run triple by Parker but HPU answered with four runs in the sixth on just one hit and no errors. Payne had an RBI double. Cooling made it 9-8 in the sixth with an RBI double and the Cowboys took an 11-9 lead in the seventh on an RBI double by Cade Johnson and a two-run home by Berryman.
In the ninth, Payne struck out to lead off the inning but reached on a wild pitch. Quackenbush then followed with the first home run of the season for Howard Payne to tie the game. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases and Byrd delivered a two-run single to center to give the Jackets the lead.
Cooling had three hits and drove in three runs and Parker had three hits and drove in two. Berryman had two hits and drove in three for HSU. Payne and Byrd had three hits each for Howard Payne.
Ty Engelhardt started for the Cowboys and was followed by Channing Hickman, Kyle Johnson and Northrop. Johnson took the loss. Ethan Cerna worked a third of an inning but received the vulture win out of the bullpen. Moseley recorded the final outs in the ninth for his second save of the day and seventh of the season.
HPU is now 11-7 on the year and 4-2 in league play. HSU is 7-13 overall and 3-6 in conference action. The Cowboys have lost six straight games and now will play seven straight on the road, beginning Tuesday at 7 p.m. at McMurry.
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