The final home weekend series for the LeTourneau University consisted of a pair of one-run games in Sunday’s doubleheader against UT-Dallas. The visiting Comets took game one, 3-2 in nine innings and the YellowJackets rallied, in the nightcap, to win 4-3.
The doubleheader split puts LeTourneau at 15-20 overall and 10-13 in the American Southwest Conference and UT Dallas at 21-18 overall and 10-14 in the American Southwest Conference. The series win vaulted the YellowJackets into next weekend’s conference tournament as the No. 5 seed, where they will face No. 4 seed UT Tyler in Austin at Concordia University on Friday, May 6 at 3 p.m. The Comets fall to the No. 8 seed in the tournament, where they will face host and No. 1 seed Concordia on Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m.
One run decided all three games during the weekend series. For the season, LeTourneau has played in 10 contests with a 6-4 mark after Sunday’s doubleheader split.
In game one, the visiting Comets scored twice on four hits in the top of the ninth to outlast the YellowJackets, 4-3.
UT Dallas took an early lead in the game with back-to-back two-out doubles for an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
LeTourneau managed to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh on a pinch-hit RBI double by senior Dillon Yates. Earlier in the inning, senior Taylor Empkey singled to right center. Then, a sacrifice bunt by junior Kyle Jacobs moved Empkey into scoring position to set the stage for the effort by Yates. Next, a pair of walks loaded the bases but a line drive to the shortstop ended the threat.
The Comets scored twice in the ninth for a 4-2 lead, but the YellowJackets mounted a threat in its half of the inning. Jacobs started the inning with a double. Then senior Brandon Applewhite singled up the middle to put runners on first and third. Next, a bunt by junior Carson Dickey moved pinch runner Josh Raies to second to put runners on second and third for junior Jacob Simmons with one out.
Simmons grounded out to second, scoring Jacobs from third and advancing Raies to third. With the tying run at third, a ground out to winning pitcher, Zach Bomer ended the game. Four players for UT Dallas including Brandon George, Haden Johnson, Nick Marti and Nolan Smith each had two hits to lead a 12-hit attack.
LeTourneau freshman Andrew Harlan got the loss in a complete game, falling to 4-6 on the season. The YellowJackets were limited to five hits in the loss.
In the nightcap, it was a 4-3 comeback win for the YellowJackets win. LeTourneau scored three times on two hits and capitalized on a pair of errors by UT Dallas for the victory.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh, LeTourneau trailed by a 3-1 margin. With one out, senior Bryce Henry doubled down the left-field line. Then, Henry came into score when the Comets made an error on a ball hit by senior Sean Sellers. Next, a single by Empkey put runners on first and second. After an LETU fly out, the YellowJackets completed a double steal to move Sellers to third and Empkey to second. The Comets elected to walk Yates intentionally to load the bases.
Next, sophomore Rayne Hobbs brought in Sellers to tie the game at 3 with a walk. The bases remained loaded for Simmons, who hit a ball that the Comets infielder bobbled, which allowed Empkey and the winning run to score from third for the come-from-behind win.
The comeback made a winner out of senior reliever Josh Gimre for LeTourneau, who improves to 1-0. Offensively, six different YellowJackets had a hit with senior Lucas Allen and Henry each having an extra-base hit.
The Comets had ten hits with Jimmy Norris, Tim Cole, and Nick Marti each having a pair to lead UT-Dallas. Brandon Koncaba was the losing pitcher, falling to 0-2.
Next, the YellowJackets will make their third appearance at the American Southwest Conference. It is the first time that LeTourneau has reached the tournament in three consecutive years.
The 2016 American Southwest Conference Softball All-Tournament Team on Sunday named LeTourneau University’s senior Brianna Williams of Detroit, Texas.
Williams hit .600 (3-for-5) with three runs scored and an RBI in the two games for LeTourneau. She had a solo home run in the 8-6 loss in the elimination game for her team-leading fifth home run of the season.
Williams and the YellowJackets reached the ASC Tournament for the third-straight year for the first time in program history.
Sports Information Director
An RBI single by senior Dillon Yates in the bottom of the eighth led the LeTourneau University baseball team to a 4-3 win over UT-Dallas on Saturday evening in Longview.
The YellowJackets (14-19, 10-12 ASC) had held a 3-2 lead before play was interrupted by weather on Friday.
The Comets (20-17, 9-13 ASC) tied the game at 3 in the fifth inning when action resumed on Saturday. An RBI ground out by Brandon George scored Tim Cole, who had reached on a bunt single and moved to third on an error by the YellowJackets.
With the game tied at 3 and two out in the eighth, LETU junior Kyle Jacobs doubled down the left-field line. Next, Yates hit a single that brought in a hustling Jacobs from second base to put the YellowJackets ahead by one, 4-3. After a walk to freshman Lee Hosie put runners on first and second, LeTourneau attempted to add an insurance run on a single by junior Jacob Simmons but pinch runner Jacob Faubion was thrown out at home.
LeTourneau senior Boone Privette pitched his second complete game of the season en route to the win to improve to 3-1. The Fort Worth native allowed five hits, three runs (two earned) and struck out seven in the win. UT Dallas reliever Jonathan May, who came out of the bullpen when the action started on Saturday.
Recognized in a special ceremony for the seniors before the game were Privette, Yates as well as teammates Lucas Allen, Brandon Applewhite, Nick Arst, Sean Sellers, Taylor Empkey, Josh Gimre, Bryce Henry and Dylan Wadyko.
The LeTourneau University softball season ended in an 8-6 loss to UT-Dallas on Saturday afternoon in Tyler.
The YellowJackets (20-22) battled to the final out in their third-straight appearance at the American Southwest Conference Tournament. Senior Brianna Williams had two hits to lead a seven-hit attack for LeTourneau. One of the two hits was a solo home run, her fifth of the season, in the second inning.
The Comets (24-19) built an early 8-1 lead and withstood a late rally by the YellowJackets in the win. Ravin Wilson, Brittany Perkins, and Taylor Ervin each had two hits to lead a nine-hit effort. Starting pitcher Lauren McLeod went the distance, allowing seven hits and striking out four in the win to improve to 17-7.
UT Dallas built an 8-1 advantage until the YellowJackets got five on the scoreboard in the sixth inning. In the inning, an infield RBI single with the bases loaded by sophomore Ashlin Roach cut the deficit to 8-2. Next, freshman Macey Mize hit her fourth home run of the season – a grand slam – that made it a two-run game, 8-6.
Shortly after the grand slam, the weather on Friday forced the game to be delayed and resumed on Saturday afternoon. When action resumed, McLeod and the Comets silenced the YellowJackets for the remainder of the inning and the rest of the contest.
Post-season honors await the YellowJackets. League officials will be announcing those awards next week.
Sports Information Director