Justin Harmon hit a two-run home run in the fifth.
HAWKINS, Texas – The Wiley College baseball team was six outs away from getting its first Red River Athletic Conference victory but were unable to preserve its lead in an 11-10 loss to Jarvis Christian College Friday.
"I think this one hurts more than any loss I've had the last two or three years," head coach Kendrick Biggs said. "We aren't mentally or physically tough. That's all it boils down to. I guess ultimately it all falls back on me right now. We keep putting game plan after game plan together week after week. We keep finding a way to blow it at the end. Now I got to go back to the drawing board."
The Wildcats (5-19, 0-6 in RRAC) took the lead in the second inning. Devin Barnes (SR/Vidalia, Louisiana) hit a RBI double to center – which scored Justin Harmon (JR/Beaumont, Texas), who reached on a fielder's choice and stole second. Tyler Baumann (SO/Houston, Texas) followed with a RBI single. Brian Scott Jr. (JR/New Orleans, Louisiana) drove in Jerry Johnson (SO/Shreveport, Louisiana), who was Baumann's courtesy runner with a RBI double.
After allowing the Bulldogs a run on an error, the Wildcats answered in the fourth. With one out, Barnes and Baumann singled. Scott followed with a RBI single to up Wiley College's advantage to three. Wiley College looked poised to add more runs but Jerry Johnson got picked off second and Luis Santiago (FR/Salinas, Puerto, Rico) struck out to end the inning.
Jarvis Christian answered in their half of the fourth by scoring on a bases loaded walk. The Wildcats opened up their advantage with a two-out rally in the fifth. Ruben Hancock (FR/Sugarland, Texas) hit a RBI single to score Pearson. Justin Harmon hit a two-run home run over the left field wall to give the Wildcats their largest lead of the game at 7-2.
Again the Bulldogs answered with two hits and a walk to load the bases with no outs. Bilnoski threw a wild pitch to allow a run to score. The Bulldogs added another on a groundout. The Wildcats upped their advantage with a RBI single by Luis Santiago and a sacrifice fly by Pearson. Wiley College was unable to keep the Bulldogs off the scoreboard. They took advantage of hit batsman, a walk and a passed ball by Baumann to add a run. With two outs in the seventh, Santiago hit a RBI single. Scott tried to score from second and appeared to have slide into home under the tag but the umpire called him out to end the inning.
"It was really good to see our bats come alive because we have been struggling at the plate," Biggs said. "To lose the game the way we did, it just hurts."
Bilnoski went five innings, giving up four runs (three earned) off seven hits. He walked three and struck out three. Joe Champion (JR/Brownsville, Texas) took over in the sixth and struggled with his control as he walked four batters and hit four. He was pulled with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth. Tre'von Thomas (SR/Beaumont, Texas) finished the inning. He got the first batter to fly out. The next batter hit a grand slam over the left field fence. With two outs, Thomas allowed a single and a two-run home run which put Jarvis ahead for the first time. Wiley College didn't think one of runners touched third and appealed but the play stood.
The series resumes with a doubleheader on Saturday. The first game starts at noon and will be seven innings. The teams will play a nine-inning game 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.