PLAINVIEW, Texas — Wayland Baptist scored ten runs in its final two at bats to come from behind and defeat West Texas A&M 14-11 in nonconference baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Wilder Field.
Sophomore Chris Lee came off the bench to go two-for-two with five RBI, including a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning that gave the Pioneers their first lead of the game. Kevin Hennessey also homered, Miguel Pagan had four hits including a triple, and Eddie Allen extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a double.
The Pioneers trailed 11-4 after WTA&M put up a five spot in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the inning, Ben Christian and Pagan got back-to-back singles to get the first rally started. Christian later scored on a wild pitch and after Hennessey and Brian Embery drew walks, Gabe Sandersius, who doubled in the second, picked up the RBI when he was hit by a pitch.
Lee, hitting for starting catcher Oscar Rivera, made it 11-6 with a base hit to right. Calvin Bass followed with a two-run single that put Wayland within three.
Derrick Sampel held the Buffaloes scoreless in the eighth, helped out by two great defensive plays by Christian. The sophomore rightfielder made a diving stop in shallow right field to capture the first out of the inning, and then made a terrific leaping catch over his shoulder in deep right to record the final out of the inning.
In the home half of the eighth, Pagan greeted the new pitcher with a hard shot that got by the diving Buffalo centerfielder for a triple. Hennessey walked for the third time, and centerfielder Aldo Mendez brought home Pagan with a base hit. Embery bunted to load the bases for Lee, who deposited the 0-1 pitch over the fence in left to clear the bases.
Mendez, who had three hits, a couple of runs batted in, and a leaping catch at the outfield wall to take away a home run, did his job on the mound in the ninth. The senior southpaw got the final three outs for his first save of the season. Sampel went an inning and a third for the victory, his first of the year.
Senior JT Huckabay got the start for WBU coach Brad Bass. He allowed three runs on four hits and struck out four in 3-2/3 innings of work.
The 24-11 Buffaloes were led by Eric Dorton who went three-for-three and reached base safely three other times.
The Pioneers improve to 17-21. They remain home for a conference series this weekend against USAO. Friday’s doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. First pitch for the single game on Saturday is set for 1 p.m.