After a rough couple of days for the UT Tyler pitching staff to begin the season, the Patriots left Irwin Field on Sunday evening feeling better about their situation.
Jack Barkley, Chance Williams and Parker Sheets combined to quiet Texas Lutheran, 5-2, in the finale of the Clements Fluid Classic.
The win improved UT Tyler to 2-1 on the young season with eight games remaining on the Patriots’ season-opening, 11-game homestand.
“Any time you can win two out of three, you’ll take it,” UT Tyler coach Paul Wyczawski said. “(Texas Lutheran is) a team that won their first two games and had played well all weekend. It’s just exciting to see our guys bounce back with a win today.”
In the first two games, Patriots pitchers had allowed 22 runs and seven homers. But on Sunday, UT Tyler limited Texas Lutheran (2-1) to just two runs in the second inning.
“We had veteran guys on the mound,” Wyczawski said. “What we got today that we hadn’t was some strike-throwers.”
Jack Barkley (1-0), a sophomore right-hander from Athens, earned the win, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked two. The relief duo of Williams and Sheets surrendered just one hit in their three innings of work.
“Barkley’s going to throw strikes, he’s going to throw low strikes and he’s going to do it with multiple pitches,” Wyczawski said. “Sheets is the same way and Chance worked his way out of the inning and got a nice double-play ball with a good off-speed pitch. That’s more typical of what we expect out of our guys, and we’ll get it this year from a lot of them.”
Aaron McCain and Hayden Chick, who each had three hits, led the Patriots offensively. T.J. Martin added a pair of sacrifice fly RBIs.
“I think from (David) Ring, McCain, Chick and Martin, we’re going to have a very productive lineup,” Wyczawski said. “I like our lineup, there’s not an easy out in there. Different guys have different capabilities.”
McCain and Chick got into the act early when McCain tripled to the right-center field gap with two outs in the first inning. Chick followed with a single to left, giving the Patriots a 1-0 lead.
“It’s fun hitting in front of Hayden, especially with the way he’s hitting right now,” McCain said. “I’m going to get pitches to hit. On that triple, I was just looking for a fastball and I got it, and I just tried to stay through the ball and hit it to right field.”
Texas Lutheran took a 2-1 lead in the second, scoring on an error and a single by Daniel Harvey.
UT Tyler responded in the third when McCain’s single brought home David Ring, who led off the inning with a double. Martin later added the first of his sac flies to put the Patriots ahead 3-2.
Another sac fly by Martin in the seventh and McCain’s second RBI single in the eighth provided UT Tyler with more insurance.
The Patriots return to the field this weekend when they open a three-game series against Arlington Baptist. It starts at 4 p.m. Friday, and concludes with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday.
No. 23 UT Tyler 5, Texas Lutheran 2
At Irwin Field
Texas Lutheran 020 000 000 – 2 8 2
UT Tyler 102 000 11x – 5 9 3
Jeff Spillane, Chris Lewis (6), Eric Larsen (8) and Evan Curtis; Jack Barkley, Chance Williams (7), Parker Sheets (8) and Hayden Chick. W – Barkley (1-0). L – Spillane (0-1). S – Sheets (1). 2B – UTT: David Ring. 3B – UTT: Aaron McCain. SH: TL: Royce Rodriguez. UTT: Josh Bates, Jake Beam. SF – UTT: T.J. Martin (2).
RECORDS – Texas Lutheran 2-1; UT Tyler 2-1
NEXT UP – Texas Lutheran at Southwestern, 3 p.m. Friday; Arlington Baptist at UT Tyler, 4 p.m. Friday.