The Steers marched to the same beat as of late.
Texas College improved to 13-3 in the month of March after sweeping LSU-Alexandria 10-5 and 8-0 in a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday at the Steers’ home field.
The Steers (18-16-1) moved past the .500 mark for the first time since the opening weekend. TC finished January 3-3 after splitting a doubleheader with LSU-Alexandria. The Steers went 2-10-1 in February before getting hot.
“It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish,” TC coach Freddy Rodriguez said. “I think the way we’re playing, we’re (close to being) able to accomplish a lot of goals we set out at the beginning of the year.”
Starting pitching again fueled the Steers, with Colby Ryan and Houston Creighton allowing one run total in a combined 10 innings of action.
Ryan, a freshman southpaw from Columbia, hurled five innings in Game 1. Ryan registered five strikeouts, allowed three hits and one run and walked two.
Moises Espinoza enjoyed a big day at the plate for the Steers, going 3 for 4 with a solo home run and a pair of doubles. Four Steers notched multi-hit games: Tristen Neal (2 for 3, two RBIs), Juan Carillo (2 for 3, two RBIs) and Kasey Vogel (2 for 3, run).
TC capitalized on three LSUA errors during a three-run third, highlighted by a two-run single by Aaron Savoia (1 for 2, two RBIs, two stolen bases).
TC chalked up three hits in a five-run fourth, featuring Neal’s two-run triple and Carillo’s two-run single. The Steers nearly ended the game early with a two-run fifth after Espinoza’s shot on the first pitch following a pitching change and a run-scoring hit by Agustin Enriquez (1 for 2, two RBIs) that made it a 10-1 game.
The Steers spread the offense again in Game 2, with Neal (3 for 4, RBI) leading off strong, Enriquez (1 for 4, two runs), Jose Serna (2 for 2, RBI, run) and Juan Carillo (2 for 2, RBI) playing strong in the middle of the lineup, and Corey Heidebrecht (1 for 2, two RBIs, run) contributing in the No. 9 hole.
Creighton, a sophomore right-hander from Dickinson, yielded four hits in five innings. Colton Peek pitched the final two innings, giving up one hit and keeping the shutout intact.
“We stayed aggressive on the base paths, (had) timely hitting and the pitching has really helped us out,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve just got to continue to play good, solid baseball.”
Texas College 10, LSU-Alexandria 5
LSUA 010 004 0 — 5 9 3
TC 003 520 x — 10 13 4
Barrett Hernandez, James Ott (5) and Preston Garcia; Colby Ryan, Blaine Shackelford (6) and Aaron Savoia. W - Ryan (3-0); L - Hernandez (0-5). E - LSUA: Jay Bell (3); TC: Moises Espinoza, Matt McEuen, Tanner Shaffer, DJ Fisher. DP - LSUA: 2; TC: 2. LOB - LSUA: 7; TC: 7. 2B - LSUA: Justin Crowell, Trey Barnes, Hunter Decell; TC: Espinoza. 3B - TC: Tristen Neal. HR - Espinoza (fifth, solo). SF - TC: Agustin Enriquez. SB - TC: Savoia (2), Enriquez, Jose Serna, Xavier Foster. CS - TC: Foster.
Texas College 8, LSU-Alexandria 0
LSUA 000 000 0 — 0 5 1
TC 130 013 x — 8 12 0
Troy LaBorde, Josh Palmer (3) and Blaine Richard; Houston Creighton, Colton Peek (6) and Blaine Shackelford. W - Creighton (2-1); L - LaBorde (1-1). E - LSUA: Justin Crowell. LOB - LSUA: 6; TC: 6. 2B - TC: Agustin Enriquez, Corey Heidebrecht. SB - LSUA: Kenny Hudson; TC: Kasey Vogel, Jose Serna, Enriquez, Matt McEuen, Tristen Neal. SF - TC: Heidebrecht. SH- TC: McEuen.
RECORDS — LSU-Alexandria 9-19; Texas College 18-16-1.
NEXT UP — Loyola (La.) at LSU-Alexandria, today; Texas College at Texas Southern, Saturday.