Baseball begins 2022 campaign in three-game series against USAO
The baseball team took one of three games against the No. 14-ranked University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO) in the 2022 season series opener this weekend. The Saints start the year 1-2 while the Drovers sit at 2-1.
The Saints began the 2022 season with a 9-7 victory in a back-and-forth battle against the Drovers in a seven-inning matchup. Francisco Martinez (JR/San Antonio, Texas) drove in Robert Arredondo (SR/Corpus Christi, Texas) in the bottom of the first inning and Tyler Vivier (SO/San Antonio, Texas) added two more runs with a double. OLLU loaded the bases in the following inning and Sebastian Ledezma (FR/Los Fresnos, Texas) scored on a wild pitch. The Drovers’ offense came to life in the third and fifth inning by scoring three runs in each frame. Saints starting pitcher Alec Martinez (SR/Corpus Christi, Texas) went four innings and allowed two hits and three earned runs with three strikeouts.
OLLU tied the game 6-6 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Vivier hit a sacrifice fly to score Matthew Klar (JR/San Antonio, Texas) and Noah Rodriguez (SR/Victoria, Texas) brought in John B. Ortega II (SO/Harlingen, Texas). Jake Womack singled to center field to score Colton Bensch in the top of the sixth inning to give the lead back to the Drovers. USAO made costly errors in the bottom of the sixth inning. Christian Martinez (SO/Corpus Christi, Texas) scored on an error to tie the game and Vivier singled to bring in Klar and Arredondo. Joshua Mendez (SR/Corpus Christi, Texas) held the Drovers scoreless in the top of the seventh inning to give the Saints the 9-7 win. Vivier batted 2-for-2 with five RBIs and Francisco Martinez added three hits with an RBI.
The Drovers controlled the second game of the series early on and tied the series heading into Saturday. They scored six runs in the second inning and four in the third inning to lead 10-0. Klar and Francisco Martinez drove in runs in the bottom of the third inning and Montejano scored on an error. The Saints added another run in the fourth inning when Christian Martinez grounded out to shortstop and Rodriguez scored. The exact same play happened in the following inning to cut the Drovers lead to 10-5. Gage Gaunt hit a two-run home run to left field in the seventh inning and the Drovers ended up winning 12-5 on 11 hits.
The series finale was a battle on the mound in a nine-inning showdown. Saints starting pitcher Brett Vasquez (JR/Baytown, Texas) pitched six innings allowing only four hits and one earned run. He also struck out six of the 22 batters he faced. The lone run he gave up came in the top of the first inning when Gaunt stole home on a double steal. The Drovers led 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth inning. The Saints took a 2-1 advantage after RBI singles from Francisco Martinez and Pablo Trevino (SO/San Juan, Texas). USAO regained the lead in the top of the eighth inning after a two-run home run by Joey Pena. The Drovers tacked on three more runs in the top of the ninth inning for a commanding 6-2 lead. Ledezma scored on a balk for the Saints in the bottom of the ninth inning, but it wasn’t enough as the Drovers took the series and game three 6-3.
The Saints host No. 2-ranked Central Methodist University in a four-game series starting on Feb. 4 at 1 p.m.