ODESSA, Texas — The bats came alive for the Fort Hays State baseball team on Sunday, propelling the Tigers to a 13-7 victory over Texas-Permian Basin. The win completes the series sweep for the Tigers, who move to 3-0 on the year. UTPB dips to 0-3 after the opening weekend of the season.
All nine Tiger starters recorded at least one hit in the victory, and eight different players scored at least one run. FHSU collected 15 hits on the day while making zero errors in the field. The Falcons combined for nine hits and made seven errors on defense.
It is the first time the Tigers have started a season 3-0 since 2010 when FHSU won its first eight games.
Jordan Wilkerson opened the scoring in the second inning with a first-pitch home run to left field, the first long ball of the season for FHSU. Ryan Grasser came around to score on an error later in the inning, giving the Tigers an early 2-0 lead.
Fort Hays State added three more runs in the third inning after Dayton Pomeroy got things started with a single to left. Later, with the bases loaded, Bryce Whitchurch and Grasser were hit by a pitch in back-to-back plate appearances, driving in a run each time. Marcus Altman added another RBI in the following at-bat when he reached on a fielding error, scoring Wilkerson.
After the Falcons finally got on the board with one run in the fourth inning, Whitchurch helped the Tigers get the run right back in the fifth when he sent a 3-2 pitch over the fence in left center.
The Tigers pushed three more across the plate in the sixth when Alex Weiss led off with a solid single to center. Pomeroy followed with an RBI-double inside the line in left field. Walks to Addison Kaasch and Whitchurch loaded the bases before another Falcon error allowed two runs to score.
Texas-Permian Basin got two runs back in the bottom half of the sixth, but LHP Alex Ruxlow came in to limit the damage, giving up a double before striking out three in a row to get out of the inning with a 9-3 lead.
Clayton Basgall opened the seventh inning with a single to right and quickly moved to third after a groundout and a stolen base. The infielder scampered home on a wild pitch two batters later. Wilkerson lifted a sacrifice fly to left later in the inning, scoring Pomeroy to build the lead back to eight, 11-3.
The Falcons made it a game again in the seventh, cutting the deficit in half with four runs on three hits. But Fort Hays State answered right back, scoring a pair in the eighth inning to build the lead to 13-7. Basgall came through with a two-out single to right field, scoring Altman from second. After Basgall swiped second, Weiss followed with a drive to center, doubling in Basgall.
Easton Palmer came out of the pen to make quick work of the Falcons in the final two innings, retiring all six batters he faced.