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Mulerider Baseball: First week of the season in the books

After 6 baseball games on our opening week of the season we finished at a disapointing 4-2. We opened the season in New Orleans on Tuesday against the University of New Orleans playing a double header. However, our bats didn’t get the memo that the season had started. We were held to 4 hits and scratched only 1 run in the opener which made for a disappointing start to the 2012 season with a 7-1 loss. The second game was a different story. Lead off hitter Trey Buck got the party started with a triple which lead to a 3-run first inning followed by a 4-run second inning. Our pitchers pitched by committee and 7 runs were all they needed. Sophomore Janson Carr got the start and struck out 4 batters in 2 innings pitched. Four other pitchers held the Privateers to only one run and we got the win 7-1.

Angelo State, Lindenwood, Arkansas Tech, and Univ of Arkansas Moniticello came to Magnolia this weekend for the 2nd annual Mulerider classic. First on our schedule was Angelo State. It was great baseball weather for the Friday nightcap with temperatures that felt like the upper 20s. Despite the cold weather, our bats stayed hot as we pounded out 12 hits and scored 7 runs. Senior Doug shields went 6 innings to pick up the win, only allowing 4 hits and striking out 5 Angelo State batters. Juniors John Mark Abbey and Justin Parsons, along with senior Joey Cifuentes, all pitched one inning in relief, not allowing any runs.

 The next night we faced Lindenwood, it was another cold night and we knew they would be a tough team because they handed us our first loss last season. They struck first getting one run in the 3rd but we came back with 3 of our own in the bottom half. We tacked on a 5 spot in the 5th and ended up winning the game 12 to 2 in 8 innings. Sophomore James Baune picked up his first collegiate win. He through 6 innings allowing one run on 6 hits and recorded 4 strikeouts. Trey Buck led us offensively with 3 hits.

The Mulerider fans and baseball fans in general that saw both of our games on Sunday got their moneys worth. The first game of the day was against Arkansas Tech. In the 6th inning they scored 6 runs and we found ourselves in a hole 9 to 4. We scratched a run across in the bottom half of the 6th and then got 2 more in the bottom of the 7th. Our pitchers held the Wonderboys off the board in the 7th and 8th innings. In the bottom of the 8th with the go ahead run on second, senior first baseman David Allday singled down the right field line to give us the lead. Justin Thomas quickly shut the door in the 9th and we had completed our dramatic comeback win, 10-9.  The nightcap against Arkansas-Monticello had the same feel as the first game. The game went back and forth the whole time, both teams got 2 runs in the first inning. We pushed across 4 runs in the bottom of the 3rd, but they came right back at us with 4 of their own in the top of the 4th inning. They added another run to take the lead in 6th and then we tied it up again in the 7th. They scored 2 runs in the 8th to take the lead again. Going into the bottom of the 9th we were down 9 to 7. But the game was far from over, 3 out of our first 4 batters of the inning got hit and we had the bases loaded with one out. A sac fly by freshman catcher Ryan Dardenne got the game within one run followed by a full count walk by DH Phillip Menou (who also led us offensively with 3 hits) to load the bases back up with 2 outs. Senior second baseman Jody Spain swung at the first pitch he saw and smoked a ground ball that everyone thought was headed for the outfield but UAM’s third baseman made a diving stop and got the out at first to end to game. It was a day of dramatic baseball that ended on a sour note.

We are headed to Abilene, TX today to take on Abilene Christian in a 3 game series on Friday and Saturday. Should be another weekend of great baseball.