Long no-hitter highlights sweep

More news about: Texas-Tyler
Keith Long threw the first no-hitter in the D-III
season to open a Sunday doubleheader with UMHB.

Texas-Tyler athletics photo by Lang White

TYLER, Texas –The University of Texas at Tyler Baseball (4-2) swept two games over the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (3-5) Sunday afternoon. The first game was highlighted by a no-hitter from junior right-handed pitcher Keith Long (Plano, Texas) with UT Tyler earning a 3-0 win. The Patriots trailed early in the second game before exploding for 10 runs over the final three innings to secure the sweep. The series was moved to a double header on Sunday after weather and field conditions rearranged the schedule and the first game of the series was canceled.

Both pitchers were dealing through the opening three innings of game-one with just one hit from either team coming from senior catcher Zach Pavelock (Iola, Texas) to lead off the third. During the span, Patriots' starting pitcher Keith Long struck out four batters and faced the minimum.

UT Tyler's offense came alive in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring two runs. Senior outfielder Josh Burns (Center, Texas) reached on a bunt single to lead off the inning before senior infielder Bowie Farris (Denton, Texas) was hit by a pitch. Burns was brought home courtesy of a groundout by junior outfielder Kolton Forsythe (Oak Ridge, Texas) while Farris scored on an error by the pitcher throwing over to third base.

Senior infielder Blake Wilson (Midlothian, Texas) added to the Patriots' lead in the sixth inning after reaching on a two-out single. After stealing second, Wilson came home on a Forsythe single, his second run-batted-in of the game. The score put UT Tyler ahead, 3-0, and sent the game to the top of the seventh and the final chance for the Cru to extended the shortened game of the doubleheader.

The first batter of the inning went down looking with a full count before the next batter grounded out to third base. Long got ahead in the count, 2-0 to the third batter of the inning but the Cru batter battled to even at 2-2. Long's last pitch caught the Mary Hardin-Baylor batter looking to seal the seven-inning no hitter and 3-0 Patriot victory.

Long finished the day with 11 strikeouts in his seven innings of work. He was responsible for just one baserunner on a walk while two others reached base via errors during the game. On the offensive side, four different Patriots recorded a hit with Forsythe also adding his two RBI's.

In the second game, each team traded runs with Mary Hardin-Baylor scoring in the first and third, but the Patriots matched in the second and fourth innings. Wilson reached on a single in the second before scoring on a wild pitch. After Farris reached in the fourth, he was brought home on an RBI single courtesy of senior infielder Blake Maddox (Jacksonville, Texas).

The floodgates opened in the bottom of the sixth inning when UT Tyler plated six runs with two outs. With the bases loaded and two outs, senior outfielder Graham Welch (Plano, Texas) drove in three runs with a triple to the gap in right center. He was then brought home on a single by sophomore outfielder Tanner Roach (Whitehouse, Texas). After stealing second, Roach was the fifth run of the inning when he scored from second on a Burns single.

Leading 7-2, senior infielder Henry Sanchez (San Antonio, Texas) led off the bottom of the seventh with a double. Wilson added his first RBI of the day when he followed with a base knock to extend the lead, 8-2.

Needing four runs to end the game in the bottom of the eighth, UT Tyler quickly got two runners on via a walk and a hit batter. Burns recorded his third-consecutive hit to add a run while Sanchez drove in his first run of the game to load the bases. Wilson picked up another RBI moving everyone over one base and pulled the Patriots within a single run of getting the sweep. With sophomore outfielder Brandon Rossiter (Whitehouse, Texas) pinch hitting and the bases loaded, the first pitch up the at-bat was high hitting the Patriot batter and bringing in the final run of the game. It made the score 12-2 and ended game two in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Wilson finished the contest with four hits in five at bats while also driving in a pair of runs. Burns and Maddox added three hits and two RBI's each. On the mound, senior right-hander Nate Imig (Leander, Texas) got the start and pitched four innings. Junior right-handed pitcher Austin Schneider (Keller, Texas) moved to 2-0 on the year with the win in relief. He pitched three innings while freshman right-hander Matthew McMillan (Pflugerville, Texas) pitched the ninth inning.

The Patriots will host one game at Irwin Field on Tuesday when they welcome NCAA Division II opponents East Central University at 4 p.m. UT Tyler will then travel to Winter Haven, Florida for five games in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational between Thursday and Saturday.