JUSTIN, TEXAS – The Seward County Saints baseball team used an early scoring advantage to hang on to a win the first of a four-game series against Galveston College, 9-6.
Redshirt Sophomore West Reddell (1-0) picked up the win, pitching 4.0 innings. He gave up two hits, walked one, and struck out two batters. Brayden Conner and Jacob Nielsen came in in relief, with Nielsen picking up his first save of the year in 3.0 innings pitched.
After retiring the side to start the game, the Saints first two batters grounded out and struck out, but then the bats came alive. Two singles by Dylan Paul and Spencer Sackett put runners at first and second, before a hard-hit ground ball to third base by Cayde Ward forced an error to load the bases.
Jose Caraballo singled at the next at-bat, driving in Paul and Sacket to give the Saints the 2-0 lead. Montana Newell was next up, connecting on a two-run single to left field, scoring Ward and Caraballo on the play. A fly ball ended the inning, but the damage was done, giving the Saints a commanding 4-0 first inning lead.
The scoring had to wait until the bottom of the fifth inning. With Ward and Caraballo both reaching on singles, Newell came through again, this time with a two-run double to center field. Ben Tsui singled to short with the next at-bat, and an errand throw by the shortstop allowed Newell to cross the plate, pushing the Saint lead to 7-0.
The Whitecaps offense turned on in the 6th inning. Following a leadoff single, Zach Holzhuter hit a two-run blast to right field to cut the lead to 7-2. Three batters later, Christian Sepulveda drove another Whitecap, making it 7-3 midway through the 6th.
Seward had an answer for Galveston's big inning, starting off the bottom of the 6th with two walks. A sacrifice fly by Austin Tidwell pushed Brendan Madsen and Braxton Allen into scoring position with Sackett bringing them home with a single to center field to make the score 9-3.
Galveston had one last rally attempt in the 8th inning. With their first two batters reaching base, David Jenks doubled to left field to bring home a run. An error by Caraballo on the next batter allowed another runner to score. With no outs and runners on first and third, Sepulveda hit into a double-play, but was still able to bring home another run, bringing the game to 9-6. Nielsen struck out the next batter, ending the threat.
Seward came away with 13 hits with five Saints with multiple hits. Newell led Seward with four RBI, while Sackett and Caraballo both came away with 2 RBI.
The Saints will play a double-header at 1:00 p.m. against Galveston tomorrow.