MARSHALL, Texas – Hardin-Simmons’ baseball team advanced to the winner’s bracket final of the American Southwest Conference Tournament with a 12-4 win over top-seed East Texas Baptist on Friday afternoon at Woods Field.

The Cowboys received a great pitching performance from junior Grant Mitzelfelt. He came out of his start two weeks ago with a side injury and did not play last week and was questionable going into the tournament. He worked seven and two-third innings and allowed just three runs to improve to 6-4 on the year.

The Cowboy offense came out and staked him to an early lead. Colby Seltzer hit his 15th home run of the year in the top of the first inning. Luke Kirkbride gave the Cowboys a 5-1 lead with a three-run home run in the second inning.

HSU kept adding to the lead with a Sam Buchkowski sacrifice fly in the third inning. Nick Ellington added a two-run single in the sixth inning and Kirkbride made it 9-1 with his second home run of the game.

ETBU hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the eighth inning. Johnny Follett came on in relief for the Cowboys and got out of a jam.

The Cowboys added three runs in the ninth on a Jett Forrest RBI single and a Buchkowski RBI groundout. ETBU scored one run in the ninth.

Kirkbride, Ellington and Jeremy Colon each had three hits for the Cowboys in a 16-hit attack.

Carson Wilson, Brett Wagner and Jase Jones each had two hits for the Tigers. The Tigers held back their ace and Hayden Robichaux took the loss allowing five runs on six hits in an inning and a third.

The Cowboys are now 21-21 on the year and the Tigers are 30-11. HSU will play UT Dallas on Saturday at 11 a.m. in the next round.