Zachary Pearson hit his third home run of the season in Game 2.
TATUM, Texas – The Wiley College baseball team had plenty of scoring opportunities but came up short in a 5-4 extra-inning loss and a 5-1 loss against Red River Athletic Conference school Huston-Tillotson University Friday.
"It's the same thing that's happened all year," head coach Kendrick Biggs said. "We find a way to keep it close but can't find a way to get over the hump. It shows us what we got to work on for next season."
In the first game, the Wildcats (8-39, 3-22 in RRAC) stranded runners in scoring position in three of the first four innings. Through six innings, Wiley College was held to two hits. Trevor Spear (SR/Elysian Field, Texas) hit a single in the first and Tyler Baumann (SO/Houston, Texas) singled in the second.
The Wildcats trailed 4-0 in the seventh inning. Baumann led off with a walk and Scott followed with a single. Alan Warfield (FR/Shreveport, Louisiana) – who courtesy ran for Baumann - reached third. With the centerfielder's throw offline, Scott took second. With one out, Spear hit a ball just over the left fielder's glove for a two-RBI triple. Justice Brown (SO/Sugarland, Texas) hit a two-RBI double left to tie the game at four. Spear twisted his ankle when running for home and had to leave the game. He came in for one play in the second game before being subbed. Zachary Pearson (SR/Many, Louisiana) struck out and Ruben Hancock (FR/Sugarland, Texas) grounded out to end the inning.
In the eighth inning, Austin Rotramel (FR/Plano, Texas), who took over pitching in the seventh - was one out from preserving the tie. He allowed a walk. Justin Harmon (JR/Beaumont, Texas) was unable to haul in a line drive - which allowed the go-ahead run to score. Harmon led off the eighth with a single and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Baumann. Torian Branch (FR/Baton Rouge, Louisiana) pinch ran for Harmon and reached third on a ground ball by Devin Barnes (SR/Vidalia, Louisiana). Luis Santiago (FR/Salinas, Puerto, Rico) flied out to end the game.
Brandon Bilnoski (SO/Marshall, Texas) made his final start of the 2017 season and went six innings. He held the Rams to one run through the first five innings. Bilnoski finished with three runs allowed on five hits, walked two, hit two and struck out seven. He struck out the side in the third inning.
Wiley College fell behind in Game 2 when it gave up a run on a wild pitch. Gilberto Ruiz (SR/Caguas, Puerto Rico) got into a bases loaded situation with no outs in the fourth inning. He got Rylee McGee to ground into a fielder's choice with Ruben Hancock throwing a runner out at home. On the next play Hancock fielded the ball and turned a 5-2-3 double play to end the inning.
Pearson tied the game with a home run to straightaway center field for his third of the season.
"I thought I hit the ball hard in my first at-bat but the wind brought the ball back in," Pearson said. "In that at-bat I thought flied out again but it went over the fence."
"On Senior Day, you want to see your seniors play well," Biggs said. "I'm very happy for him. Zach has worked hard this year."
Huston-Tillotson's centerfielder Ajani Dowdy ran full speed into the centerfield wall. He eventually left the game. Jeremy Herrera took over in the sixth inning.
In his final career start, Ruiz went 5 1 /3 innings. He allowed an unearned run on four hits, walked four and struck out two. With completing Saturday's finale uncertain due to potential rain, Biggs started pulling his senior starters one-by-one to give them one last curtain call. Pearson, Barnes, Spear, John Jones (SR/DeSoto, Texas), Ruiz, Tre'von Thomas (SR/Beaumont, Texas) and Oswaldo Palacios (SR/Houston, Texas) were honored after the game.
"I wish them the best," Biggs said. "I did my best to prepare them for the real world and everything after baseball and school. Hopefully, they will be ready to go."
Thomas and Jones each pitched 2/3 of an inning. Joshua Simon (FR/New Iberia, Louisiana) pitched the last 1/3 inning. The Wildcats hope to get enough innings inning before the rain on Saturday and have moved up the season finale to 11 a.m. the teams must make it through five innings for the game to count.