Eagle Baseball Takes on Howard College
In a three-game series, Northeast Texas Community College hosted the Howard College Hawks February 18-19. Howard College won Games 1 and 2, 6-5 and 8-0, but NTCC bounced back in Game 3 to win 8-4. NTCC Head Coach Andy Morgan and Howard College Head Coach Jake Carlson were high school teammates back in Kansas growing up and set up a good match between the schools.
In Game 1, Howard got on the board first in the top of the second, scoring three runs, and picked up another in the third to go up 4-0 on the Eagles. Both teams would get on the board in the fifth inning of the seven-inning game. The Hawks scored once to bring it to 5-0, but the Eagles from NTCC would also have a big inning and plated three runs to cut the score to 5-3.
Shortstop Bennie Qualls (Humble, Texas) would lead off the inning with a walk and score on a fellow middle infielder, Connor Chavez (Lantana, Texas), double to plate the first Eagle run. Then, Seth Cox (Fairview, Texas) would hit a monster two-run blast to left field to cut the lead to 5-3 after five innings of play.
The top of the seventh saw Howard add one more pivotal run to lead 6-3 and hold off the Eagles’ comeback in the bottom of the seventh. However, NTCC did not go down easy, and Anthony Capobianco (San Antonio, Texas) led off with a walk and would later score with Raef Wright (Burleson, Texas), who followed the walk with a double to right field. The Eagles’ comeback bid fell short, and Howard took game one 6-5.
Austin Burda (Mansfield, Texas) would get the start on the mound and go five innings for NTCC before giving way to George Austin (Dallas, Texas).
Game two for the Eagles would not go their way, as NTCC managed just three hits in game two. Howard College would score win game two 8-0.
Sunday afternoon game three actions would go the Eagles’ way, as they took down Howard College 8-4 in the series’ final game.
Howard College would get on the board first with a run in the top of the first and the top of the third to lead 2-0. NTCC got hot in their half of the third inning and scored five runs to take the lead and not look back. Shortstop Camden Mitchell (Flower Mound, Texas) got the inning going with a single, stole second base, and later scored on a wild pitch to get the Eagles’ first run of the day. Seth Cox, Nathan Harmon (Highland Village, Texas), Rohan Sanganera (Santa Clara, California), and Adrian Dominguez (Ontario, Canada) would also score in the inning to help the Eagles take the lead and not look back.
The Hawks managed to get one run in the top of the fourth to cut into the lead, but NTCC answered in the bottom of the sixth to put the game away for good with a three-run inning. Nolan Bushko (Haslet, Texas) started things off with a big homerun to left to help set the pace in the inning. Then, Wright and Cox would reach base on back-to-back walks and later score on a single by Sanganera to push the NTCC lead to 8-3.
Howard College squeezed out one more run in the top of the seventh of the nine-inning game, but that is all they would get in the 8-4 win by the Eagles.
Kevin Schoneboom would start game three and go four innings giving up three runs on seven hits and striking out three Hawks. Seth Cox and Matthew Howell would also see action on the mound (Huntsville, Texas). Cox would pitch two innings with just one hit and struck out four to pick up the save.