The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor baseball team fell behind early and Concordia Texas had an answer for each Cru rally attempt as the Tornados posted a 7-2 victory over UMHB in the first round of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament's Blue Bracket Friday in Tyler. UMHB drops to 22-17 with the loss. Concordia improves to 27-14 on the year with the win.
The Tornados grabbed a 2-0 lead on Caleb Rodriguez's two-run homer in the bottom of the second inning. Jake Valadez made it 3-0 Concordia with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third. UMHB cut the gap to 3-1 on a Mark Frankhouser RBI single in the top of the fourth inning. Michael Evan's two-run homer gave the Tornados a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth, but Dakota Best doubled home a run in the top of the seventh cut it to 5-2 Concordia. The Tornados answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of that frame to stretch the lead out to 7-2. Neither team would score from there as the Cru could not advance a runner past second base in its final two at bats.
Nathan Kent took the loss for UMHB to drop to 5-5 on the season. Kent scattered five hits and allowed four runs in five and a third innings. Justin Traxler pitched seven hits of seven-hit baseball for the Tornados to improve to 4-3 on the year. Landon Dieterich and Caleb Davis had two hits apiece for the Cru. Three players had two hits apiece for Concordia.
The Cru will return to action with an 11:00 AM elimination game on Saturday. UMHB will take on the loser of the U.T. Tyler/Louisiana College first round contest. Concordia will play the winner of the UTT/LC game in the winner's bracket at 3:00 PM on Saturday.