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LeTourneau University – Sports

 

BASEBALL

LONGVIEW, Texas – After pounding out 16 hits in an 11-7 win, the LeTourneau University baseball team would be limited to just six total in a 6-4 loss to split a non-conference home doubleheader against Austin College at Conrad-Vernon Field on Tuesday, March 6.

With the split, LETU improves to 8-6 overall while the Kangaroos run their record to 3-3 overall.

Game 1
The YellowJackets would have to come from behind in the twin bill opener, falling back by a score of 2-1 after three innings of play while AC would score two runs on three hits. LeTourneau would respond in the bottom of the third with back-to-back one-out singles from Eli Birriel, and Lee Hosie before a Noah Mahoney two-out RBI single would cut the ‘Roo lead in half heading to the top of the fourth.

Austin College would put their first two runners of the fourth inning aboard before a sacrifice bunt, and hit-by-pitch would load the bases with one out before an inning-ending double play managed to get LETU out of the inning without any damage done. The YellowJackets then would take advantage of two Austin College errors and leadoff single to load the bases before a Will Bradshaw triple cleared the bases to put LETU up by a score of 4-2. Bradshaw eventually came around to score on a wild pitch, making the score 5-2 following the three-run inning.

Austin College responded with a three-run top of the fifth inning, utilizing a bunt single and walk before a double scored two of the three runs to force a pitching change for the YellowJackets. LeTourneau would see a wild pitch allow for a ‘Roo runner to move to third before scoring on an RBI groundout, tying the game at 5-5. Not to be outdone, LETU scored three more runs on three hits in their end of the fifth. Two more errors by AC allowed for two of the three runners to come across and let LeTourneau reclaim an 8-5 lead.

The ‘Roos would add single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, but see LETU put up three more runs on a Bradshaw home run to put the game out of reach and secure the win.

Junior Nate Hoelker earned his first victory of the year, coming on in relief of Haden Simmons who would pitch the first four innings and allow five runs on seven hits while striking out two. Hoelker tossed two innings while allowing two runs on three hits before Kolbey Sharpe finished off the game with one inning of work, pitching a hitless outing.

Bradshaw would collect both extra-base hits in the game for LETU, finishing two-for-three with six RBI’s while Hosie had two of the other three RBI’s for the YellowJackets. A total of six LeTourneau players would record multiple hits in the win, with Birriel and Hosie both collecting three hits each.

Game 2
A quicker start to game two for LeTourneau would not prove to be a good thing as all four YellowJacket runs would come in the first two innings of play on only two hits. After seeing Austin College put their first two runners on in the top of the first, LETU would get out of the jam by viewing the ‘Roos ground into a double play. LeTourneau would then use a one-out double and AC error to put two runners on with one out before a Carson Dickey fielder’s choice put runners on the corners with two outs. Bradshaw picked up where he left off in game one, collecting two more RBI’s with a two-out double to the right-center field wall to put LETU up 2-0 after one inning of play after not seeing the YellowJackets score their second run of game one until the fourth inning.

The second inning of play would be similar to the first as Austin College once again put their first two runners of the inning aboard. Then LeTourneau would get the next three batters out with a pop out, fielder’s choice, and strikeout to end the inning. Weston McKinley would lead off the bottom of the second by drawing a walk, bringing up center fielder Jacob Jones who would launch the second pitch he saw over the left field wall for a two-run home run as the YellowJackets would take a 4-0 lead after two innings.

Following a scoreless third, Austin College would get one run back in the top of the fourth on a single hit. Then they break the game open with four runs in the top of the fifth. The four runs coming on just two hits to go along with three walks, one hit batter, and one error.

LeTourneau would appear to have a chance at tying the game in the bottom of the fifth, with Birriel collecting a leadoff single before stealing second and third followed by a Valdez one-out walk. A Dickey strikeout put two outs on the board before Austin College would make a pitching change, which would prove to be useful as a strikeout would strand both runners.

The ‘Roos would go down in order in the top of the sixth, but manage to keep LeTourneau off the scoreboard as a leadoff single by Brandon Ramirez would be wiped out by a fielder’s choice for Mahoney with Ramirez being thrown out at home trying to tie the game at 5-5. Austin College managed to add an insurance run in the top of the seventh, taking advantage of a leadoff walk followed by a single and pair of passed balls, making the score 6-4 as the YellowJackets would need two runs to extend the game. A chance to force extra-innings never would present itself, however, as LETU would go down to end the game.

A total of five pitchers would be used by LeTourneau in the game, with Gonzalo Sosa getting the start and throwing 3.2 innings of work while allowing just one run on four hits and striking out four. Sharpe would make his second appearance of the day. He pitched 0.2 innings and allowing three runs (one earned) on one hit before making way for David Herrington who would take the loss. Herrington lasted just one-third of an inning, allowing one run on one hit while Sam Kriebel (0.0 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits) and Bubba Valdez (2.1 innings, one-run, one-hit) also appeared in the game.

Jones would be LeTourneau’s only player in the game to collect two hits, with Hosie and Bradshaw managing to hit the extra-base hits for the YellowJackets. Driving in two runs were Jones and Bradshaw.

The American Southwest Conference home opening series for LETU will take place on Friday, March 9 when the YellowJackets host McMurry University in game one of a three-game series at 6:00 p.m.

 

MEN’S TENNIS

RICHARDSON, Texas – For the first time in his career, LeTourneau University men’s tennis sophomore Christian Farris has been named American Southwest Conference East Division Player of the Week.

Farris would go 2-1 overall at both No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles last week, picking up a pair of wins in both dual matches against NCAA Division III competition. Overall, the YellowJackets would go 1-1 in Saturday’s doubleheader as Farris defeated Howard Payne’s top competitor 6-4, 6-0 before teaming with Jimmie Henson to win 8-1 in doubles. Against Austin College, Farris won 1-6, 6-2, 10-8 in singles and 9-8 (7-4) to claim doubles.

A biology major at LeTourneau University, Farris is the son of Kelly and Tracy Farris.

 

TRACK AND FIELD

New Orleans, LA – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has announced the All-Region honorees for the 2018 NCAA Division III indoor track & field season with LeTourneau University freshman pole vaulters Alex Hindman and Austin Parrish becoming the first-two All-Region honorees in program history.

The top-5 individuals in each event from each region earned All-Region distinction, in addition to each of the members of the region’s top-3 relays teams. The regions used for this award – Atlantic, Central, Great Lakes, Mideast, Midwest, New England, South/Southeast, and West – match those used during the cross country season.

Heading into this weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Championship Meet, Hindman leads the South/Southeast Region with a mark of 4.78 meters (15 ft. – 8.75 in.) while Parrish is third at 4.61 meters (15 ft. – 1.5 in.)

Hindman will compete in the NCAA Division III Indoor National Championship Meet, to be this Friday and Saturday, March 9-10 at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, AL. To be eligible to compete in the meet, Hindman had to qualify as one of the top-15 declared individuals in his event and currently ranks 14th among all NCAA Division III athletes in the pole vault. They are scheduled to get underway at 3:30 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL

ATLANTA, Ga. – The men’s basketball team had to battle back from as many as 15 points which included a 12-point second-half deficit. LeTourneau University’s team would see a game-winning shot with two seconds left. It hit off the back iron in a season-ending 83-82 loss to No. 6 nationally ranked Emory University in the second round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championships at the Woodruff PE Center in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, March 3.

LETU’s season ends at 24-5 overall while the host Eagles advance to next weekend’s NCAA Division III Sectional Rounds with a 23-4 overall record.

“I think our guys laid it all on the line tonight and if we battled to the end.” said head coach Dan Miller in a post-game interview. “Emory is a good team, and they are a top-10 team for a reason.” “Not many teams would be able to come into this environment we played in tonight against a veteran team like Emory and handle it as our guys did.” “As a program, we have come too far and tonight shows that we can battle on the national stage.”

It would be tight in nearly every statistical category available tonight, as the YellowJackets would finish 28-for-65 (43.1 percent) from the field and connect on 12-of-32 triples (37.5 percent) while also going 14-for-19 (73.7 percent) from the charity stripe. The rebounding battle would go 39-38 in favor of LETU, but Emory University would hold a 13-10 advantage on points off turnovers. Emory shot 47.9 percent (35-73) from the field, and got 21 points from bench players, while also outscoring LeTourneau 42-30 in the paint.

Senior Alec Colhoff finished with a game-high 26 points, missing just one shot and connecting on six-of-seven threes while also grabbing two rebounds. Nate West had 23 points to go along with six rebounds, five assists, and two steals while junior Caleb Loggins joined the duo in double figures with 13 points and seven rebounds. Emory finished with five players in double-figures, led by 22 points from Christopher Avant.

Early on would see both LETU and Emory hit open shots from the floor, as neither team would be able to open up more than a two-point lead in the opening five minutes of action. After a West triple gave the YellowJackets a 7-5 lead, the Eagles would score ten straight points to open up a 15-7 lead with 14:16 left in the first half. The Emory lead would continue to slowly grow throughout the first half, getting as high as 15 points at 38-23 with 3:46 left in the opening period before back-to-back threes by Colhoff brought LeTourneau back within nine at 38-29 just 42 seconds later. Emory responded with five of the next seven points to go back up 12 with 1:56 left in half, before seeing the score settled at 46-37 following a Caylab Herrera jumper in the final minute.

In the second half, LETU would go on an 8-0 run after allowing a three to open the period, cutting the nine-point deficit to six with 17:08 left in the game. The Emory lead would only get double-digits once more in the final 15 minutes of the game, as LeTourneau would manage to keep the deficit at six at the midway point of the second half. A West triple at the 9:08 mark in the second half brought LETU back within three at 66-63, but Emory would push their lead back out to eight at 76-68 over the next four minutes of play.

The YellowJackets went back to Colhoff, who would deliver with a three at the 4:42 mark to get back within five and then get a West triple with 2:12 left to trail 81-79. Emory would get a layup with 34 seconds left to make the score a two-possession game, but once again West would connect on a three to get LeTourneau within one at 83-82.

LETU would be forced to foul, and see Emory commit a lane violation with 12 seconds left which would give the YellowJackets a chance to win the game. Holding the hot hand, West would put up an open three, but hit the back iron as the Eagles would grab the rebound and force LeTourneau to foul. Emory would purposely miss the free throw and then bat the ball up in the air on the rebound as time would expire and end LETU’s record-breaking season.

 

MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD

STEVENS POINT, Wisc. – In what would be the final indoor track and field meet of the year for the LeTourneau University men’s track and field team, freshman Alex Hindman and Austin Parrish would take fifth and ninth place respectively. It was in the pole vault at the Wisconsin Stevens Point Last Chance Meet on Saturday, March 3 at the Multi-Activity Center in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Both Hindman and Parrish entered the meet looking to improve their marks enough to place among the top-15 nationally and qualify for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships but would fall just short of their goal. Hindman’s fifth-place finish came with a mark of 4.76 meters (15 ft. – 7.25 in.) while Parrish came in with a mark of 4.61 meters (15 ft. – 1.5 in.).

The LETU track and field team will now focus on the outdoor season, which will run through the end of May while also competing in the American Southwest Conference Championships which will be held April 20-21 in Abilene, Texas.

 

WOMEN’S TENNIS

LONGVIEW, Texas – After securing the two of the first three available points in the match during doubles play, the LeTourneau University women’s tennis team would ease their way to a 7-2 victory over Howard Payne University at the Davis Tennis Courts on Saturday, March 3.

With the victory, LETU improved to 2-0 on the season after going one month between matches while HPU fell to 3-6 overall.

The three doubles matches would all be close throughout, as Maddison Brackenreg and Gracie Favela would pull out an 8-5 victory over Erin Blanchard and Erin Mccleer while Terin Murray and Katy Hall secured aN 8-6 win over Chesney Goza and Breanna Hunt in No. 2 doubles action. Howard Payne would secure their first point of the day with an 8-4 victory at No. 3 doubles as Rosie Cadena, and Cheyanne Lovelady defeated Lauren Rockwell and Mikayla Thomas 8-4.

Singles action would not be quite as close as the doubles action went, with Brackenreg picking up a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Goza to get things started at No. 1 singles. The No. 2 singles match saw Murray earn a 6-0, 6-1 win over Mccleer before Favela would secure the team victory with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Blanchard. Hall went on to receive her first singles win of the year in No. 4 singles action with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Dariela Lares Ibarra while Rockwell also won with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Cadena at No. 5 singles. Samantha Trevino would play the No. 6 singles match for LeTourneau, dropping a 6-2, 6-2 decision to Lovelady.

A chance to improve to 3-0 is in store for LeTourneau this afternoon when the YellowJackets take on Austin College at the Davis Tennis Courts at 3:00 p.m.

 

MEN’S TENNIS

LONGVIEW, Texas – In the first of two matches on Saturday, the LeTourneau University men’s tennis team would earn its first victory of the year with a 9-0 win over Howard Payne University at the Davis Tennis Courts in Longview, Texas on Saturday, March 3.

The win moves LETU to 1-2 overall this season, with all individual matches coming in dominating fashion.

Starting in the doubles matches, Jimmie Henson and Christian Farris would pick up an 8-1 win over Gabe Benitez and Benjamin Blanchard while Robby Bundy and Zac Crowley-Kurth teamed up to defeat Brandon McGibeny and Andrew Stevenson by a final of 8-2. The YellowJackets then earned the doubles sweep with Dale Wallace II and Nash Best taking an 8-2 win over David Dingle and Jaze Randolph.

Needing just two points to secure the match in singles action, LETU would leave no doubt by taking all six singles matches with all games ending in straight sets. Farris would win 6-4, 6-0 over Benitez at No. 1 singles while Henson earned a 6-1, 6-1 win over Blanchard to secure the match. At No. 3 singles, Best would defeat McGibeny 6-1, 6-3 while Crowley-Kurth earned a 6-0, 6-3 decision over Stevenson. The No. 5 singles match would see Collin Patterson take a 6-0, 6-0 decision over Dingle before freshman Cameron Wall finished off the sweep with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Randolph.

LeTourneau will be back in action at 3 p.m. today when they host the Austin College Kangaroos at 3 p.m. A full recap of the afternoon match will be posted later this evening.

Matt Kinney
Sports Information Director