Cody Brown and Cason Adams were dominant on the mound and Gunnar Quick was unstoppable at the plate as the No. 5-ranked UT Tyler baseball team rolled to a 12-1 and 4-2 Senior Day doubleheader sweep of McMurry on Saturday at Irwin Field.
The Patriots (31-5, 19-2 ASC) improve to 19-2 at home and swept their fifth conference series of the season after taking all three from the War Hawks (12-25, 6-15 ASC) this weekend. Quick led the Patriots in the series by going 9-for-14 with seven RBI, while Brown struck out 11 in a complete-game victory to start Saturday and Adams struck out eight in a win to end the day after a weather delay between games. UT Tyler outscored McMurry by a 31-9 margin in the three-game series and hit .380 against War Hawk pitching. UT Tyler will conclude the regular season next weekend with a three-game series at East Texas Baptist in Marshall.
“I’m just so excited and proud of this group of seniors," UT Tyler head coach Brent Porche said. "They have been great leaders all year long in the way they show up to work every day and the energy they bring on game day. Some seniors had some great weekends. Gunnar Quick with a huge weekend at the plate. Dalton Smith driving in runs and makes a diving play in the ninth there and Cason Adams with his best outing of the year just to name a few. All of these guys are special and I’m lucky I get to coach them. We’ve got a lot of work to do and we are looking forward to playing for the regular-season championship the last weekend of the year. It will be fun. I know the Patriot fans will show up and support us right down the road next weekend. We are looking forward to the challenge.”
Cody Brown (6-2) earned the win in the opener with 11 strikeouts to match a season-best. Brown, who also had 11 strikeouts against Belhaven, went seven innings for his fourth complete-game of the season where he limited the War Hawks to six hits and allowed only one walk. The Patriots lead the game 9-0 after two innings to stake Brown to the lead where he cruised the rest of the day.
Quick led the Patriots by going 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored, while Graham Welch, Daniel Williams and Ben Romines each went 2-for-4. Quick hit his second home run of the season and had two doubles in the game to go along with a single. Welch, Romines and Daniel Williams also had doubles. Romines also had a triple in the game where he had two RBI and one run scored.
UT Tyler led 1-0 just two batters into the game with Tim Hunter leading off with a walk and Quick driving him in with his first double of the game to right-center. Williams would drive in the next run with a single and Romines would follow with a two-run triple. The five-run first inning was followed by four more in the second with Welch hitting an RBI single and Dalton Smith driving in a run with a sac fly. The Patriots took advantage of two runs in the inning to get out to their lead.
Adams (7-0) stayed perfect on the season by limiting the War Hawks to two runs and six hits over seven innings of work. He would exit in the eighth inning with a 3-2 lead with Hunter Palmer needing only seven pitches to escape damage with three quick outs. Reese Read would come into the game in the ninth to record his eighth save, ending the day with a strikeout looking and giving the Patriots their fifth straight win. Adams improved to 23-9 in his career with 193 strikeouts.
Quick was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored in the game, while Josh Burns went 2-for-3 with a triple. Romines hit his second double of the day and his team-leading fifth of the day, while Welch, Williams, Romines and Smith each added hits for the Patriots who finished the game with eight.
UT Tyler 3-0 through four innings with Smith hitting an RBI single in the second, Welch an RBI single in the third and Romines scoring after leadoff triple and coming in on a double play. The Patriots led by those three runs through seven innings before the War Hawks struck for two in the eighth, but Williams would push the lead back to two with an RBI single down the right-field line. Williams now has 40 RBI on the season after his 62nd hit of the year.
UT Tyler leadoff hitter Tim Hunter walked seven times in the three-game series and now has 48 walks this season which leads the nation and is three away from the single-season program record of 51 which is held by Kendall Fox since the 2008 season. Fox also had 50 walks in 2009 and 48 in 2007.