Posted by Coleman Swierc
TYLER, TX (UT-Tyler) - The UT Tyler Patriots swept a doubleheader from Mississippi College on Saturday to claim their fifth-consecutive American Southwest Conference East Division Baseball Championship and lock down the top seed and home field advantage in the ASC Championship Tournament.
The Patriots (31-4, 14-4 ASC), ranked fifth in the country, rebounded from a 14-8 loss on Friday to win the series with 3-1 and 1-0 victories on Saturday.
In a game dominated by pitching and defense, Kory Cleveland ruled the day, tossing a complete game, eight strikeout performance to earn his seventh win of the season in the Patriots' 1-0 rubber game victory.
David Ring gave the Patriots the winning run in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Jake Ashley.
In the early game, the Patriots appeared headed for defeat after MC's Stuart Magee blasted a one-run homer in the top of the third and starting pitcher Ryan Glover held the Patriots hitless through five complete innings.
The UT Tyler offense finally found its groove in the bottom of the sixth when Jake Beam got things started with a single up the middle to spoil the no hitter. Two outs later, Ring doubled down the left field line to plate Aaron McCain and Dustin Wyble, giving the Patriots a 2-1 lead. Nick Clifton then singled through the right side to bring in Ring for the insurance run.
Starter Matt Schimpf, who improved to 6-1, then held the Choctaws in the top of the seventh.
With the UT Tyler pitching staff yeilding just one run in 16 innings Saturday for the wins, Mississippi College falls to 20-14, 9-6.
The Patriots have four non-conference games remaining on their schedule, including a Tuesday afternoon doubleheader with McMurry scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
The ASC Championship Tournament will begin with first round competition April 29-30. UT Tyler will host the fourth seed from the West Division in a best 2-of-3 series.