The rubber met the road, and the University of Science and Arts (Oklahoma) drove away from the Lone Star State well-satisfied after four dominant pitching performances.
The Drovers held the Steers to one run total for the second straight day and picked up two more victories over Texas College on Saturday to complete a four-game sweep in the opening series of the NAIA baseball season.
Sunshine or rain, USAO managed to sustain its pitching dominance.
A day after receiving two complete game gems to outscore the Steers 9-1 in a pair of wins, USAO used two arms in a 7-0 win in Game 1, and four more in a 14-1 victory in Game 2 on a damp day featuring a light drizzle most of the afternoon.
“It was a combination of both,” Texas College coach Freddy Rodriguez said of USAO’s throwers and the Steers’ lack of hitting. “They had a lot of experience with their starting pitching. Their experience on the mound showed. We just didn’t get it done offensively the whole series.”
Jared Coon and Brian Vigo drove in two runs each to power the Drovers.
Vigo singled to left field to bring in two runs in the third for a 3-0 advantage. Coon hit a two-run double in the fourth and later scored on a Heath Wilda single for a 6-0 lead.
Seth Surgeon struck out four and allowed five hits in six innings of work for USAO.
The Steers reached third base only once, in the third after consecutive singles from Agustin Enriquez and D.J. Fisher.
“It’s early in season so a lot of hitters are still getting their timing down,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not pushing the panic button yet.”
USAO slammed the door shut on TC with a 10-run third.
Chance Hill hit a grand slam to highlight the inning. The Drovers sent 16 batters to the plate in the inning. Wilda scored twice in the long third, and laced a two-run single to end the 10-run frame.
Wilda finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs. Robert Summers went 2 for 2 and scored three runs from the leadoff spot.
Corey Heidebrecht headed the Steers with a 3 for 3 effort. Heidebrecht, a senior second baseman from Pleasanton, Calif., singled in Aaron Savoia for TC’s lone run in the fourth.
The Steers shuffled through a handful of pitchers who allowed 12 hits, with a half-dozen going for extra bases. TC offered up 11 free passes off walks and hit batsmen in the second game after three in the first game.
The Steers seek improvement on both ends heading into a Tuesday doubleheader at LSU-Alexandria.
“We have to get better in the pitching department,” Rodriguez said. “It’s hard to win games when you score two runs in a series. We’ll get better and go back to work Monday and try to improve offensively.”
University of Science & Arts (Okla.) 7,
Texas College 0
USAO 012 300 1 — 7 8 1
TC 000 000 0 — 0 5 3
Seth Surgeon, Clint Selman (7) and Owen Adams; Chris Burroughs, Houston Creighton (3), Andrew Hungerford (5), Jarett Pasley (7) and Jose Serna. W – Surgeon (1-0); L – Burroughs (0-1). 2B – USAO: Jared Coon, Heath Wilda, Chance Hill. SH – USAO: Konrad Mueller, Zach Gonzales. SB – TC: D.J. Fisher.
University of Science & Arts (Okla.) 14,
Texas College 1
USAO 10(10) 001 2 — 14 12 1
TC 000 100 0 — 1 6 3
Simon Mitchell, Daniel Edwards (5), Dakota Blanchard (6), Josh Goodman (7) and Kyle Lewis; Caleb Hensley, Matthew Garibay (3), Jesse Garza (5), Colby Ryan (6), Tanner Shaffer (7) and Aaron Savoia. W – Mitchell (1-0); L – Hensley (0-1). 2B – USAO: Zach Gonzales (2), Kyle Lewis, Robert Summers, Blake Pruett. HR – USAO: Chance Hill (third, grand slam). SF – USAO: Heath Wilda. SB – USAO: Summers; TC – Corey Heidebrecht.
RECORDS — USAO 4-0; Texas College 0-4.
NEXT UP — Science and Arts at Northwood, 1 p.m. Friday; Texas College at LSU-Alexandria, 4 p.m. Tuesday (DH).