ABILENE, Texas – Joel DePorte made is last home for McMurry University’s baseball team a memorable one on “Senior Day.” The Fremont, California native threw his team-leading fifth complete game as the War Hawks (21-24, 12-14 HC) salvaged the series finale versus the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (23-22, 13-14 HC), 2-1.
The win was, in many ways, a typical DePorte outing, as the senior righty improved to 7-4 on the year and lowered his season earned run average to 3.02. “Typical,” because DePorte permitted 11 hits to the Lions, yet with the minimal amount of damage. He struck out eight UAFS batters and walked none, his great control also one of his hallmarks (DePorte has 52 strikeouts this year to just eight walks, in a team-leading 83 1/3 innings of work).
DePorte also got the victory versus ACU this past Monday afternoon. While DePorte was in control on the mound again against UAFS, McMurry batters slapped out eight hits, themselves.
McM broke a scoreless game in the bottom of the fourth when - with two out - Eric Preuss and AJ Dupre drew back-to-back walks off of UAFS starter Wayde Roth. Catcher Greg Koll then roped a single to leftcenter field that plated Preuss, making it 1-0.
In the top of the seventh, DePorte worked out of his tightest jam of the day. The Lions loaded the bases with just one out. But DePorte induced back-to-back force outs to end the threat.
In the bottom of the seventh, the War Hawks added what would prove to be some needed insurance. Senior Jeremy Ruiz homered to left, a prodigious blast that upped it to 2-0 in favor of McM.
UAFS got its lone run in the top of the eighth after Josh Vanderpool led off with a triple and then scored on a sacrifice fly by the very next batter, 2-1. The visitors hit two more singles in the inning, but DePorte worked free of that jam, as well. He set down the Lions in order in the ninth to put the win in McMurry’s side of the ledger.
McM’s Nos. 1 and 2 batters – Kyle Sargent (2-4) and Christian Simmons (2-3) – accounted for half of their team’s hits and were the only players with multi-hit games for the War Hawks.
McMurry closes out the regular season with a home, non-conference, doubleheader versus Cameron University on Tuesday (2 p.m.).