BROWNWOOD – Southwestern posted five runs in a huge ninth inning rally, but were ultimately defeated 15-13 to open the season against Howard Payne in Brownwood Tuesday.
The Yellow Jackets wasted no time protecting their home turf, scoring three runs in the first inning to take an early lead.
Southwestern one-upped HPU with four runs in the fourth and posted another in the fifth to lead 5-3. Soon, however, Howard Payne hit their stride and scored two in the fourth, four in the fifth, one in the sixth and four in the seventh to lead 14-5 late in the contest.
The Pirates refused to go down without a fight and got three runs in the top of the eighth, two coming on a two run shot by Will Cates. HPU wasn’t done yet and was able to push one more run across in the bottom half of the inning, making the count 15-8 heading into the final frame.
Southwestern got back to work, starting with Ryan Jackson who drew a walk, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. With one out SU executed and scored a run before back to back doubles brought home three more, cutting the Yellow Jacket lead to just two, 15-13. HPU did just enough to cut the comeback short and steal the win.
Cates led the way at the plate, going 3-4 with three RBIs, two walks and four runs scored. Robert Wehman also posted three hits and three RBIs in the loss. Joseph Koch garnered the loss, allowing three runs, one earned, on three hits while walking one and striking out three. HPU’s Shawn Brody received the win with 3 innings of work while allowing just one run.
Southwestern starts the season at 0-1 and returns to action on Friday as they open a three game series in Austin against Concordia University. Game time for Friday is set for 6 p.m.