AUSTIN, Texas – The Hilltoppers scored over twenty runs in each of their games against Panhandle State Friday afternoon at Lucian-Hamilton Field. St. Edward’s won the first game, 23-8, and took the second contest, 24-3.
In game one, St. Edward’s (10-9, 9-7 HC) jumped out to an early lead. The Hilltoppers got on the board in the first inning. Center fielder Dylan Shuch led off the game with an infield single and came around to score on a double off of the bat of second baseman Drew Cross. First baseman Dexter Moreno drove in Cross with a single to left field. The Hilltoppers scored another two runs on a wild pitch from Aggie starter Cale Rice. Catcher Drew Kimball followed this up with an RBI double to right-center field. Kimball came around to score on an RBI double by Schuch, who collected his second hit of the inning. Cross drove in Schuch with a single to left field. Moreno added another RBI single and then left fielder Justin Shufelt followed this up with a two-run triple to left-center field. Shufelt scored on a Hancock double to right-center field. Kimball drove in Hancock with an infield single. Schuch ended up collecting his third hit of the inning, which was a two-run single through the right side of the infield. This did it for the scoring in the first inning for St. Edward’s. The Hilltoppers batted around more than twice and scored 16 runs in the first inning.
Panhandle State (1-19, 0-16 HC) got on the board in the second inning. Catcher Mike Jameson blasted a two-run home run over the center field fence to get the Aggies on the board.
The Aggies scored another run in the third inning when designated hitter Chad Thies drove an RBI triple to right-center field. This cut the Hilltopper lead down to 16-3.
St. Edward’s tacked on several more runs in the fifth inning. Second baseman Ben Silberman knocked in two runs on a ground ball to the shortstop. Silberman reached base on a throwing error by the shortstop and then came around to score on a line drive single to left field by Cross.
The Aggies scored twice in the sixth inning but the Hilltoppers got both of them back in the bottom half of the inning. Moreno and right fielder Sean Hilbe led off the inning with back-to-back home runs. St. Edward’s scored two more runs during the inning.
Panhandle State scored three runs during the seventh inning, but it would not derail the Hilltoppers. St. Edward’s went on to win the game, 23-8.
Cross led the way for the Hilltoppers. The second baseman went 4-5 with five runs batted in and two runs scored. Moreno went 4-5 with three RBI’s and a home run. Schuch went 3-3 with three RBI’s and two runs scored. Kimball was 2-2, driving in two runs and scoring two runs.
On the mound for the Hilltoppers, Brent Davis (1-3) picked up his first win of the season. Davis worked five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on eight hits, while striking out five.
In game two, the Hilltoppers struck first again. Designated hitter Daniel Rufini drove a double down the right field line to score the Hilltoppers first run of the game.
The Aggies tied up the score in the second inning. An RBI double to left-center field by first baseman Amir Daou tied the game up, 1-1.
Schuch produced two more runs for the Hilltoppers in the second inning with a two-out two-run single up the middle. Hancock and Kimball scored on the play.
The Hilltopper offense scored again in the third inning. With the bases loaded, Hancock grounded into a double play. Although St. Edward’s would have liked a better outcome on the play, Rufini scored and the damage was done. The Hilltoppers reloaded the bases. Shortstop Jeremy Houser drew a bases loaded walk to bring in another run. Schuch followed this up with a walk of his own, bringing in another run.
Jameson got the Aggie offense back into the swing of things in the fourth inning. He smashed a solo home run to straight away center field.
Not to be outdone, the Hilltoppers played a little long ball in the bottom half of the inning. Shufelt lined a two-run home run over the right-center field fence.
St. Edward’s scored again in the fifth inning. Schuch led off the inning with a single. He came around to score on a triple off of the bat of Cross. Cross scored when Rufini crushed a home run to left field. This was Rufini’s second home run of the year. After a sinlge by Moreno, Shufelt lauched an RBI triple to left-center field. This was followed up by run-producing hits from Hancock, Houser, pinch hitter Win Smith, and Cross.
The Hilltopper offense was relentless during the game. They scored some more in the sixth inning. Hilbe and Cross each had RBI hits. Designated hitter Nick Godre followed this up with a three-run home run to left field. This did it for the Hilltoppers, as they claimed victory, 24-3.
Shufelt led the way in game two. He was 4-5 with four RBI’s and two runs scored. He was a double shy of the cycle. Cross went 3-5 with four RBI’s and four runs scored. Rufini had three hits, three RBI’s, and he scored two runs. Schuch went 2-2 with three RBI’s and two runs scored.
On the mound for the Hilltoppers, Bret Friemel (4-1) worked five innings, giving up two runs and striking out 11 batters. Jonathan Burns worked two innings of relief and struck out five Aggie batters.
The Hilltoppers will be back in action Saturday morning to play a pair with Panhandle State. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. at Lucian-Hamilton Field.