The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor baseball team fell behind early in both games before rallying late with mixed results in a doubleheader split with Howard Payne University Monday in Belton. The Cru won game one 4-3 but fell 6-5 in game two. UMHB is now 2-4 on the season. The Yellow Jackets move to 5-1 on the year.
UMHB won game one 4-3 behind timely hitting and a solid combined pitching performance from three pitchers. Blake Null's two-run single gave HPU a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. The Cru answered in the bottom of that frame. Landon Dieterich singled home two runs and scored the go-ahead run on Cameron Wachsmann's RBI single. The Yellow Jackets tied the game on a sacrifice fly in the top of the third inning. It would stay that way into the bottom of the sixth. Dakota Best doubled home Dawson Shibley with two outs to put UMHB up 4-3. Harrison Sims set HPU down in order in the top of the seventh to notch his first save of the season. Jeb Zolman picked up the win to even his record at 1-1. Three Cru pitchers combined to limit the Jackets to three hits. Shawn Brody took the loss for Howard Payne to drop to 1-1 on the year. Dieterich had two of the Cru's seven hits in the victory. UMHB also tied the school Division III era record by turning four double plays in the contest.
The Cru's late rally fell just short in a 6-5 game two loss. Null blasted a three-run homer in the top of the first to give Howard Payne an early lead. UMHB cut it to 3-2 on RBI singles from Mitch Patterson and Austin Blanford in the bottom of the second. HPU added a run in the top of the third to make it 4-2 before the Cru used Best's RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to close the gap to 4-3. The Yellow Jackets stretched it to 6-3 on a suicide squeeze and an RBI single in the top of the sixth. The Cru pulled to within 6-5 on Best's two-run double in the bottom of the seventh, but left the tying run at third as the game ended. Connor Heussner took the loss for UMHB to drop to 1-1. Best had three hits and three RBI for the Cru. Jonathan George (1-0) picked up the win for the Yellow Jackets and Dylan Vilaros earned his first save of the year. Joshua Gerig had two of Howard Payne's five hits in the game.
The Cru is scheduled to return to action with a 6:00 PM non-conference game against Trinity University Tuesday at Red Murff Field. UMHB will then travel to Jackson, Mississippi to open American Southwest Conference play with a three-game series at Belhaven University this weekend.