St Edward’s Hilltoppers split with UT-Permian Basin

AUSTIN, Texas – Bret Friemel’s outstanding performance on the mound in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader with UT-Permian Basin helped St. Edward’s earn a split. The Hilltoppers dropped the first game, 10-4, and claimed victory in the second contest, 3-0.

In game one, UT-Permian Basin (13-4, 10-3 HC) got on the board first. The Falcons scored three runs in the top of the first inning. The big blow came on a two-run home run to right field by designated hitter Chris Hook.

The Falcons struck again in the second inning. After three consecutive singles, shortstop Chris Wagner delivered an RBI sacrifice fly to right field.

St. Edward’s (7-9, 6-7 HC) got into the action in the third inning. Shortstop Anthony Spagnolo led off the inning with a single to right field and then came around to score on a single off of the bat of second baseman Drew Cross. Unfortunately this was the only run the Hilltoppers could get in the inning though, as they left two runners on base.

UT-Permian came back with two more runs in the fourth inning. First baseman Logan Forest drove in a pair of runs with a single to left field.

St. Edward’s got both runs back in the bottom half of the inning. Spagnolo drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to right field and center fielder Dylan Shuch knocked an RBI bunt single.

Drew Kimball tacked on another run for the Hilltoppers in the bottom of the fifth when he led off the inning with a monstrous home rum to left center field. This cut the St. Edward’s deficit to 6-4.

The Falcons came back in the top of the sixth inning. After 1.1 scoreless innings of relief, UT-Permian Basin got to Hilltopper freshman Jeff Rohrbach. The Falcons scored a run on three consecutive singles off of Rohrbach. After a pitching change by St. Edward’s, senior Chris Sharp was greeted by Forest, who blasted a three-run home run to right center field. This was the final nail in the Hilltoppers coffin, as they went on to drop the game, 10-4.

Schuch led the way for the Hilltoppers out of the leadoff spot. The speedy center fielder went 3-4 with a run batted in. Spagnolo went 2-2 with and RBI and run scored. Kimball blasted his first home run of the year. Third baseman Nic Godre went 2-3.

In game two, the Hilltoppers got on the board first. The Hilltoppers scored a pair in the first inning. Godre drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to center field and then Cross came around to score on a wild pitch.

This was the only scoring for a while. Both pitchers settled into a groove, baffling the offenses. The scoreless streak was broken in the bottom of the fifth inning by the Hilltoppers. Schuch led off the inning with a double down the left field line. He came around to score on a double by Cross.

UT-Permian Basin threatened in the top of the sixth inning. The Falcons loaded the bases with only one out, but Hilltopper starter Bret Friemel (3-1) buckled down and got two key strikeouts to end the inning. This was the last threat from the Falcons. They couldn’t overcome the Hilltoppers, who grabbed the 3-0 victory.

Friemel stole the show in the second game. The senior right-hander hurled a complete-game shutout, giving up only four hits and striking out a career-high 14 batters.

For the Hilltoppers offense, Cross led the way, going 2-4 with a run batted in and a run scored. Schuch went 2-4 and scored two runs. Right fielder Mike Hancock went 1-3 and Justin Shufelt got a hit during his only at-bat of the day, a pinch hitting appearance.

The Hilltoppers will be back in action Saturday afternoon to close out the weekend series against UT-Permian Basin. The first pitch is set for 12 p.m. at Lucian-Hamilton Field.