Catching fire at right time

Connie Cheng Comets make it 8 wins out of last 10 games going into ASC
Connie Cheng Comets make it 8 wins out of last 10 games going into ASC
Connie Cheng
Comets make it 8 wins out of last 10 games going into ASC

The UTD baseball team defeated UT Tyler 2-1 on March 15 to go level in the standings with the Patriots.

Senior right-hander Derek Dallas picked up his fourth win of the season, tossing his third complete game. He gave up only one earned run while striking out four batter to lower his ERA to just 1.35 for the season. Fellow senior Jacob Price extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double, scoring senior Daniel Saxon in the bottom of the first inning.

The Comets split games in a double-header against Hardin-Simmons on March 12, losing the first game 2-0 and winning the second game 3-2 to go above the .500 mark just as ASC play starts up.

Sophomore Brandon Clounch started the game and pitched four scoreless innings, but it was fellow sophomore Micah Easterling who picked up the loss in the first game after giving up a two-run home run in the fifth inning that proved to be the game-winning runs.

The Comets, 11-10 overall and 2-1 in the conference, took the initiative in the second game scoring a run in the fourth and two runs in the sixth inning to hold Hardin-Simmons to a 3-2 win. Similar to the first game, it was junior Alex Kuhn who picked up the win, pitching in relief after sophomore Calvin Campbell threw four scoreless innings. Senior Jacob Price, who is hitting .404 for the season, went 2-for-3 for the night and guided the Comets to their 11th victory.

“We are playing well in all three phases of the game right now (hitting, pitching, and defending),” head coach Shane Shewmake said. “If we continue to do this, we will be tough to beat.”

After starting off the season 0-4 in the annual Arizona Desert Classic, the Comets have won seven games out of their last nine and are looking to add to the win column as conference play gets under way.

“We feel good about where we are right now,” Shewmake said. “We played a very tough non-conference schedule, which will help us now that we are in conference play.”

The defending East champions will have their work cut out for them as UT Tyler and Mississippi College look to make a run for the title. UTD and UT Tyler finished last season with the same conference record of 14-4, but the Comets edged out the Patriots in the end due to the tiebreaker rule.

The Comets will play nine straight conference games from March 22-April 16 on the road with the last three against Mississippi College at its home field.

“Conference is tough every year,” Shewmake said. “You have to show up ready to play every weekend, or you will get beat. We got on a roll last year at the right time, and I hope we can do the same thing this year.”

The Comets took on UT Tyler in a three-game series from March 15-16 at home. They will then take the road to take on Northwood and LeTourneau, a three-game series, on March 19 and 22-23, respectively.

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