UAFS Falls In NCAA Regional Opener
UAFS Sports Information
SAN ANGELO, TEXAS (KFSM) – UAFS’ outfield trio of Dion Williams, Jace Pitchford and Logan Allen combined for six hits and four home runs against Angelo State, but their potent offensive punch wasn’t enough to topple the No. 5-ranked Rams.
Angelo State collected 15 hits off three UAFS pitchers as the top-seeded Rams beat the No. 6-seeded Lions 11-6 in the first game of the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament on Thursday at 1st Community Federal Credit Union Stadium in San Angelo, Texas.
UAFS (33-21), which is making its first appearance in the national tournament in the program’s six-year history as an active NCAA Division II member, will play the loser of Thursday’s game between No. 2-seeded Colorado Mesa and No. 5-seeded St. Edward’s at noon on Friday in an elimination game.
Angelo State (42-13) will play the loser Thursday’s game between No. 3-seeded West Texas A&M and No. 4-seeded Lubbock Christian at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
UAFS collected eight hits off two Angelo State pitchers, including three for extra bases. Allen was 2 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs, Williams was 2 for 4 with two home runs and two RBIs and Pitchford was 2 for 4 with a home run and one RBI to account for all of the Lions’ runs.
Rams starter Matt Shannon (9-4) earned the win, allowing five runs on six hits with one walk and eight strikeouts over seven innings. Rams closer Joe Hauser earned his 14th save, allowing one run on two hits with four strikeouts over two innings.
The Rams broke the game open early against Lions starter Hayden Harvey, scoring five runs off the senior right-hander in just 2/3 of an inning. Harvey (9-5) allowed four hits, walked one and struck out one in his shortest start of the season.
Lions reliever Korbin Polley allowed four runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings of long relief, while closer Nick Yoning allowed two runs – one earned – on one hit with two strikeouts over one inning.
Five of the Rams’ hits went for extra bases. Third baseman Tyler Coolbaugh was 3 for 5 with two doubles and four RBIs, left fielder Mitch Henshaw was 3 for 5 with a double and four RBIs, catcher Matt Waller was 2 for 4 with three RBIs and center fielder Elias Aguirre was 2 for 4 with a double.
UAFS trailed 8-1 going into the fifth inning, but Allen it a two-run home run in the fifth inning, Williams hit a solo home run in the sixth inning, Allen hit a RBI single in the seventh inning and Williams hit a solo home run in the eighth inning as the Lions rallied within two runs.
Angelo State answered with three runs in the bottom of the eighth on a three-run home run by Coolbaugh, and Hauser retired the Lions in order in the ninth inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced to earn the save.