NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Five SFA pitchers combined to toss the second Lumberjack shutout in less than a week, and the `Jacks put up a five-run seventh inning to break open the game and pull off a 6-0 win over Houston Baptist on Tuesday at Jaycees Field.
Lumberjack (8-5) starter Zack Taylor did not allow a base runner until two outs in the fifth inning and ran his record to 2-1 on the year, allowing just one with three strikeouts and one walk. SFA has now won five of its last six games with Southland Conference play set to begin on Friday against Central Arkansas.
Riley Huble and Hunter Dozier each finished with multi-hit days, while Garrett Smith and Darren Crabtree each finished with two RBI and had run-scoring hits in the seventh inning when SFA finally got to Husky (0-13) starter Tyler McCarty, who had allowed just one run in six frames before allowing four in the seventh.
SFA manufactured its first run of the day with Bryson Myles stealing both second and third base after being hit by a pitch to lead off the first and came home to score on a one-out grounder from Crabtree. That eventually proved to be enough as Taylor set down the first 14 Huskies of the ballgame before finally issuing a walk with two outs in the fifth frame. Beau Warren followed that with a single to break up the early no-hit bid. But Taylor was able to work out of his only jam of the day, getting Collin Hetzler to ground out to second to leave the runners on.
Meanwhile, McCarty was on a roll of his own, setting down 10 straight Lumberjacks from the second to the sixth innings, and nearly got the lead when the Huskies put together another threat in their half of the sixth against SFA reliever Cody Priest. Consecutive hits from David Pfutner and Luke Clements put runners on second and third base with just one out and the middle of the order at the plate against Priest, but the sophomore got three-hole hitter Robbie Buller to go down swinging before Chase Hernandez flied out to left to end the last HBU threat of the day.
SFA then put the game away in the seventh with the first seven Lumberjacks of the inning reaching base before the Huskies could get out of the inning. A throwing error from Buller plated the first run before Smith delivered a bases-loaded single to left, his only hit of the day that drove in his 11th and 12th RBIs of the season to bump the lead up to 4-0. Crabtree and Max Lamantia each added RBI after that to give SFA a six-run cushion, and the trio of Landon Kozeny, Chase Wier and Colton Eubanks only allowed a single base runner in the final three frames to close it out.
The `Jacks remain at home for the weekend when they take on Central Arkansas beginning Friday at 3:00 p.m. to open up Southland Conference play.