ABILENE - The clouds weren't the only thing bringing the thunder Saturday afternoon as Tarleton scored 17 combined runs on 22 hits to finish off a three-game sweep of Hardin-Simmons at Hunter Field in Abilene on Saturday afternoon.
The games, which were originally scheduled to be played in Stephenville, were moved to Abilene early Saturday morning due to rain in the forecast in Stephenville. There was still a mild rain delay in the middle of game one, however.
Game 1: Tarleton 11, Hardin-Simmons 2
Blake Adams and Dylan Lemons combined for seven RBI to back Nathan Hickey's fourth win of the year in an 11-2 rout of the Cowboys in the opening game of Saturday's twin bill.
Tarleton got the scoring started in the opening frame when Francisco and Ruben Rodriguez went back-to-back with a double and a sacrifice fly, respectively, for a 1-0 Tarleton lead.
After a solo home run from Hardin-Simmons evened things up in the second, Tarleton scored one on a double-play ball in the third and four more in the fourth on an RBI single from Hunter Hudsonand a three-run home run by Blake Adams to open the flood gates at 6-1.
The Cowboys scored their only other run in the fifth before Tarleton ended the game with five unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh. Francisco Rodriguez scored the first one on a wild pitch before Lemons struck for a 3-run blast of his own to close out a four-run sixth inning. The final run of the game came in the seventh on an RBI double from Blake Adams to plate Elvin Alamo.
Meanwhile, Hickey was dealing from the circle for six innings of work, over which he allowed two runs on four hits and four strikeouts. He gave way to Derek Martin in the seventh and the senior right-hander faced one batter over the minimum and struck out the side.
Adams paced the offense with a 3-4 day at the dish to go along with three runs scored and four RBI. Lemons boasted three RBI on one big swing of the bat in the sixth. Francisco Rodriguez, Tyler Fowler, and Hudson had two hits each while Ruben and Jake Hasbrouck rounded out the 12-hit offensive performance with one hit each.
Game 2: Tarleton 6, Hardin-Simmons 3
Conner Fletcher came out of the bullpen and threw six innings of relief to earn his second win of the season as Tarleton scored three unanswered runs in the fifth and seventh innings to cap off a sweep of Hardin-Simmons Saturday.
After the Cowboys struck for the first run of the game in the second, Tarleton answered right back by taking advantage of a Hardin-Simmons miscue. A walk and an error set up Lemons for an RBI single to even the game at 1-1, but the Texans weren't done yet. Luke Morton put Tarleton on top with a sacrifice fly before Fowler extended the lead out to 3-1 with an RBI single to center.
The Cowboys scored two in the fourth to tie things once again at 3-3 but Tarleton answered by loading the bases with no outs to chase the Cowboy starter from the game. The new reliever was greeted by an RBI single from Fowler and an RBI fielder's choice by Luis Rivas to put the Texans up 5-3 in the middle of the fifth.
Luke Morton tacked on the final run of the game with a solo homer in the seventh inning to double up the score at 6-3.
Fowler led the offense with a three-hit day while Francisco also had a multi-hit performance with two. Ruben, Lemons, Morton, Luis Rivas, and Elvin Alamo had one hit each for the Texans. Morton and Fowler had two RBI each.
Colby Fowler started and went two innings before Sid Payanpitched one inning of relief before turning things over the Fletcher. The senior sidewinder hurled the game's final six innings allowing two runs - one earned - on two hits and a walk while striking out eight, including two in his 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Tarleton will return to Stephenville next weekend to begin Lone Star Conference play with a four-game series against rival Texas A&M-Kingsville. The weekend is also the first-ever CFC Awareness Weekend at Tarleton State University.