BASEBALL: UT Tyler sweeps doubleheader from LeTourneau
LONGVIEW -- The Texas-Tyler Patriots took both games of a Saturday doubleheader at LeTourneau, giving them a three-game series sweep of the YellowJackets.
The Patriots (28-8, 14-5 ASC East) won game two by a score of 7-3 after outlasting the YellowJackets 1-0 in the seven-inning opener Saturday.
LeTourneau freshman Ryan Whitehead absorbed the loss despite pitching brilliantly for the YellowJackets in game one. Whitehead struck out nine batters while scattering eight hits.
UT Tyler's Michael Blevins tossed a three-hit shutout in the game for the Patriots.
The Patriots scored their lone run in the game with two outs in the top of the third inning. After Aaron McCain reached base on a single, Garrett Machacek chopped a base hit over first baseman Matt Leftwich that eventually rolled to the LeTourneau bullpen in deep foul territory for a triple. McCain's run was the only score of the game.
Leftwich went 2-for-3 in game one for the YellowJackets (13-21, 7-11 ASC East). He also knocked two base hits in game two. Leftwich has hit in each of the past eight games, slamming two hits in six of those games, while raising his batting average from .188 to .283 during that time.
In game two, the Patriots took a 5-1 lead after six innings and stretched their advantage to 7-1 before having to halt a late Jackets rally.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Patriots muffed their chance to end the game when LeTourneau's Caleb Pritchett reached on a fielding error. The next batter, Jay Lutz, stretched the inning further when he knocked his first home run over the left-centerfield wall.
Bryan Shore started and pitched seven innings for the Patriots en route to the game two win. Ray Whitley started for the Jackets and took the loss.
The Jackets got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to a double-steal that concluded with Leftwich swiping home. Lutz initiated the play by taking off from first, and a shaky throw by catcher Hayden Chick allowed Leftwich to come home.
LeTourneau concludes its season next week with a three-game series at Centenary (La.) beginning Friday. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m Friday in Shreveport.