The LeTourneau University baseball team split a doubleheader with host ASC leading Concordia, losing game one – 5-2 and winning game two – 7-6 on Saturday in Austin.
The YellowJackets (13-18, 9-12 ASC) with the split have moved one step closer to a third-consecutive appearance in the American Southwest Conference Tournament. The nationally-ranked Concordia squad improves to 24-12 overall and 16-5 in the ASC.
Concordia ended a 2-2 tie with a run and two insurance runs in the sixth en route to a 5-2 win over the YellowJackets in game one. LeTourneau was limited to four hits, but the big blow was a two-RBI single by junior Kyle Jacobs in the third that tied the game at 2. Concordia scored twice in the second inning for an early 2-0 lead until the YellowJackets came back to tie it.
A pinch-hit RBI double in the fifth put the Tornados back in front, 3-2. Concordia added to its lead in the sixth with two runs on three hits.
LeTourneau starter Jordan Carns went the distance, allowing five hits and five runs (four earned) and a strikeout in the loss.
Concordia starting pitcher Jake Valadez went 5 1/3 innings allowing four hits and two unearned runs and striking out seven to improve to 4-2. Ty Bratton pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for his second save.
In the nightcap, the LETU scored six times in the second inning en route to a 7-6 win to secure a split in the doubleheader.
After a scoreless first inning, the YellowJackets sent ten batters to the plate for six runs on five hits for the early lead. Three straight RBI singles and a walk to junior Kyle Jacobs loaded the bases for senior Brandon Applewhite, who emptied the bases with a double to the gap in left-center field for a 6-0 lead.
An RBI single by senior Sean Sellers in the sixth made it a 7-1 contest for the YellowJackets. With all of the offensive support, LETU starter Boone Privette stifled the Tornados, holding Concordia to just two hits and a run (earned) and struck out five for the win.
The Tornados rallied with five runs in the ninth on the strength of three home runs before freshman Alec Ovalle came out of the bullpen to get a ground out to end the game for his first career saves.
Next, LeTourneau will host East Texas Baptist University on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Conrad-Vernon Field in a non-conference game.
A balk scored Connor Bertsch in the third inning to lead Concordia to a 1-0 win over LeTourneau University baseball at Tornado Field on Friday night.
The Tornados (23-11, 15-4 ASC) plated the winning run after a two-out triple to the gap in left-center field by Bertsch. With a 1-2 count to Caleb Maddox, LETU starter Andrew Harlan balked to score Bertsch.
Harlan went on to pitch seven innings, allowing five hits and striking out seven in the loss to fall to 3-5. It is the third time on the season that Harlan struck out seven. Senior Josh Gimre pitched a scoreless eighth in relief for the YellowJackets.
LeTourneau (12-17, 8-11 ASC) stranded a pair to begin the game as well as end the contest. With two out, junior Kyle Jacobs hit a double to right center to put the winning run in scoring position. Next, the Tornados went to the bullpen and brought in Justin Traxler, who intentionally walked senior Brandon Applewhite to put runners on first and second. Traxler ended the game with a ground out to preserve the 1-0 win.
Concordia starter Josh Smith pitched 7 2/3 innings and struck out nine in the win, and Traxler picked up his second save of the season.
The two teams will wrap up the weekend series with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
LeTourneau senior Kayla Cosby pitched her second shutout of the weekend and third of the season to lead LETU to a 4-0 win over Howard Payne on Senior Day.
Cosby, a transfer from East Texas Baptist and Nearby Lindale, limited HPU to six singles and struck out six in the win to improve to 9-8 on the season. The win puts LETU at .500 on the season with a 20-20 mark overall and 17-13 against American Southwest Conference foes.
Howard Payne ends its season with the loss, falling to 16-22 overall and 13-20 in the ASC.
LETU ended a scoreless game in the second inning when senior Brianna Williams brought in Ashlin Roach on an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. Earlier in the inning, Roach hit a double to the gap in the right-center field; then, she took third on a wild pitch. Next, LETU added to its lead in the third when senior Megan Hill doubled inside the right-field line, scoring freshman Kennedi Dillow to make it a 2-0 lead.
Williams picked up two more RBI in the sixth on a single, scoring sophomore Kelsie Coleman and Hill, who were on first and second, respectively. Despite allowing a pair of hits, Crosby retired in order 11 of the last 13 batters she faced in the win.
Before the game, LeTourneau recognized its five seniors – Kayla Cosby, Rachel Gauspohl, Megan Hill, Emily Ramsey and Brianna Williams.
Next, LeTourneau advances to the ASC Tournament for the third-straight year at UT Tyler. The action will start for LETU, who enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed, on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. against No. 5 seed Mary Hardin-Baylor. Earlier this year, LETU won the series against UMHB, Feb. 12-13.
LETU (19-20, 16-13 ASC) secures a spot in next week’s American Southwest Conference Tournament with the twin bill sweep. In the win, it was a complete team victory with five runs on nine hits in the shutout for game one and eight runs on a season-high 20 hits in the nightcap.
Sophomores Kelsie Benson and Ashlin Roach each had two hits in game one to complement the second shutout of the season for senior starter Kayla Cosby, who allowed just five HPU hits and struck out four in the win. Roach also added a pair of RBI in the win.
The LETU bats came alive in the nightcap with seven players having a multi-hit game including seniors Megan Hill and Brianna Williams, sophomore Kelsi Coleman and freshman Macey Mize, who each had three hits. All four of them had an extra-base hit in the win, too. Hill and Williams had three RBI to lead LETU.
The offensive fireworks gave support to freshman starter Samantha Thomas, who picked up the win to improve to 4-3. Thomas allowed five hits and struck out three in 4.2 innings of work. In relief of Thomas, sophomore Ashley Burdine shut down HPU, allowing five hits and an unearned run in the final 2.1 innings of work.
A chance to secure a program-best No. Three seed in the upcoming conference tournament is on the line in Saturday’s series finale at noon. Before the game, LeTourneau will recognize its five seniors – Kayla Cosby, Rachel Gauspohl, Megan Hill, Emily Ramsey and Brianna Williams at 11:30 a.m.
Sports Information Director