Loss Crushes Comets' Baseball Championship Hopes
May 4, 2009
The UT Tyler Patriots rallied back from two early UT Dallas leads to take a 4-3 win in the semifinal game of the American Southwest Conference Championship Tournament and end a gallant bid by the Comets to return to the ASC championship game.
The Comets' season is presumably over at 28-18, though the Comets will await a possible at-large bid into the national NCAA Division III playoffs.
The Patriots battled back from early 2-0 and 3-2 UT Dallas leads to tie the game up twice on a pair of home runs from Jared Hood, and won the game in the eighth when Paige Hodges singled home Chad Dalieden with what turned out to be the winning run. Tyler relief ace Beau Ziegler pitched his way out of a UT Dallas threat in the seventh, then shut the Comets down in the final two innings to claim the win.
The loss overshadowed a strong starting pitching performance from senior Damion Chelakis, who went more than seven innings and did not allow a hit through the first three. Chelakis made very few mistakes, striking out eight UT Tyler batters along the way, but Hood kept Tyler in the game with a two-run homer in the fourth and a solo shot in the seventh.
UT Dallas got its first two runs of the game in the 2nd when Tyler starter Lex Wolfe hit Jared Smith, then gave up a single to Adam Hudec. Smith scored the game's first run on a sacrifice fly from Jake Eisman, then Hudec scampered home when Tyler third baseman Paige Hodges booted a ground ball off the bat of Jacob Starnes. A second error on Hodges loaded the bases, but Wolfe pitched his way out of that situation.
After Hood had tied the score in the top of the fourth, UT Dallas regained the lead at 3-2 on a solo home run just inside the leftfield foul pole by Chris Biguenet and Chelakis looked like he might make that stand up. But Tyler started off the eighth with Dalieden's base hit and he scored just two batters later to give the Patriots the lead that Ziegler would make stand up.
UT Dallas had a chance to tie up the game in the seventh when Ziegler came on. With Randy Lorber already on base, Cody Ross greeted Ziegler with a single to put runners at first and second with just one out. But Jared Smith lined out to Hodges at third, and Ross was doubled up after breaking from first base on contact.