'Jackets rally to win baseball opener
By LETU Sports Information
Feb. 10, 2018 at 9:23 p.m.
GRAND PRAIRIE — An eight-run eighth inning rally lifted the LeTourneau University baseball team to a season-opening come-from-behind 10-9 victory over Willamette University at Air Hogs Stadium on Friday.
A nightmare of a start to the game saw the Bearcats jump out to a 6-0 lead after one inning of play on the YellowJackets as WU sent 10 batters to the plate and collected six hits off of LETU starter Andrew Harlan.
LeTourneau responded with a run of their own as Eli Birriel and Will Bradshaw would both reach base safely to put two runners on with no outs before a pair of fielder's choices moved Bradshaw to third. Bubba Valdez would then get into a delayed steal to allow Bradshaw to score to make the score 6-1 after one inning of play.
Willamette added a run, but LETU took advantage of a new reliever for WU by having Gonzalo Sosa and Noah Mahoney lead off the inning with back to back singles before an RBI groundout by Bryce Brueggemeyer put the score at 8-2 in favor of the Bearcats.
In the top of the eighth, following a Bradshaw strikeout, senior Carson Dickey reached on a walk before a single and fielding error would load the bases with just one out and bring up last year's best hitter for the YellowJackets in Sosa. Sosa hit an RBI single to left field, and would see the left fielder misplay the ball to bring in two more runs and put himself on second with still just one out in the inning. Following a Mahoney Walk and Brueggemeyer single to make the score 8-6, Willamette made another pitching change which would last all of two batters. Chaz Jackson would pull LETU within one off an RBI double to left field and a four-pitch walk would force another pitching change before a wild pitch tied the game at 8-8. Dickey then broke the deadlock with a two RBI single to left field with two outs and gave LeTourneau their first lead of the night.
Koltan Eberlan picked up the save on the night after coming on in the ninth inning while sophomore Haden Simmons earned the decision after throwing one scoreless inning. LETU used four pitchers in the game, with Harlan (4.0 innings) and Ryder Lognion (3.0 innings) also making an apperance.