The Texans continued their series against West Texas A&M Saturday as part of a doubleheader and split the contests with each team taking one.
Tarleton won the first game of the day 3-0 behind the excellent pitching of Pete Perez, while WT took the second game with a four-run rally late in the game.
Game 1 – Tarleton 3, WT 0
After getting off to a slow start in the series opener on Friday, the Texans came right out of the gate on fire with a lead-off single by Ethan Stuckly. He was then driven in on an RBI groundout by Ryan Small that gave Tarleton an early 1-0 lead.
On the defensive end, starter Pete Perez continued his strong start to the season by getting 1-2-3 innings in the first and second. WT’s potent offense struggled to get anything going against the two-time LSC Pitcher of the Week.
In the bottom of the third, the Texans added to their lead when Stuckly started off the inning again with a single up the middle. Small once again stepped up and plated Stuckly with an RBI double to left. Blake Silguero followed up with a single to move runners to the corners before Garrett Hardey stroked an RBI single to center, making it a 3-0 ball game.
The Buffs got just their second hit of the game in the top of the fifth, but a nice pickoff move by Perez and a 1-3-6-1-4 rundown got the third out of the inning and erased the threat.
Tarleton catcher Jonathan Schmitz tripled of the right-center fence in the bottom of the fifth, but the Texans were unable to capitalize any further.
For the rest of the game, Tarleton relied on their ace Perez who closed the door and got his third complete game of the season. It also marked his second shutout of the year. In the end, the California native went all seven innings with just two hits allowed and eight strikeouts.
Offensively, Small led the way with two RBI’s, while Hardey provided the other. Seven different batters combined for Tarleton’s 10 hits in the contest.
Ryan Houston (2-1) suffered the loss for the Buffs and went all six innings for WT as well.
Game 2 – WT 4, Tarleton 3
WT threatened in the first with runners on first and second, but a nice 4-3 double play erased any chance of the Buffs scoring.
Tarleton got on the board in the bottom of the first when Evan Robinson’s bunt single was thrown away, allowing Ethan Stuckly to score. For the second straight game, the Texans got out to an early 1-0 lead.
The Texans looked to add to their lead in the second when they loaded the bases with a Stuckly walk, but the Buff defense stepped up once again.
Tarleton did manage to strike in third inning after Blake Silguero’s RBI double to right-center scored Ryan Small from first. That made it a 2-0 Texan lead.
WT managed to get some base runners against Tarleton, but good defense and effective pitching from starter Matt Buckmaster left six WT runners stranded through four innings.
The Buffs began their comeback attempt in the top of the sixth inning after loading the bases with three straight singles. That removed Buckmaster from the game and brought in Austin Coble in relief.
Pinch hitter Parker Wood then came in to make it a 2-1 contest with a sacrifice fly. WT continued their rally after an RBI groundout tied the game and an error gave the Buffs gave them their third run of the inning. It was now a 3-2 contest with the Texans trailing for the first time on the day.
In the bottom half of the sixth, Tarleton needed to do something offensively in order to keep the game going. With Noah Ringenberger on third and Andy Wolfe on first, the WT pitcher picked off Wolfe at first, who forced a run down. Intelligently, Wolfe extended the run down and go players out of position. While Wolfe delayed the fielders, Ringenberger took off for home and scored before the final out was made. Thanks to some smart base running, Tarleton tied the game up, 3-3, in the late stages of the game.
Just as the rest of the game had gone, the back-and-forth continued in the seventh. Jordan Easom got a bloop single to right to score Kendall Boone, making it a 4-3 WT lead.
The Texans got an opportunity in the bottom of the seventh and after two quick outs, Small and Silguero got back-to-back singles. The Buff defense stepped up though and ended the contest as a 4-3 final.
Tarleton falls to 12-8 on the season and 5-2 in LSC play. WT on the other hand, improves to 18-5, 6-1.
Matt Buckmaster (3-2) was stuck with the loss after giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits and four walks in five innings.
Carlos Maese (3-0) got the win in relief after going 1 1/3 innings with two hits and no earned runs.
Small, Silguero and Ringenberger finished the game with two hits each, while Silguero provided the lone RBI.
Stuckly finished the day 3-for-5 after going 2-for-3 in game one. He also scored three runs over the two-game span.
The Texans and Buffs will wrap up the series at 1 p.m. today at Cecil Ballow Baseball Complex.