The UT Tyler Patriots were dealt a blow Monday when starting second baseman Will Allen left the game with a knee injury, causing coach Paul Wyczawski to shuffle his defensive alignment.
It didn’t seem to matter all that much, as the Patriots clubbed Castleton State 14-4 on Tuesday night at Irwin Field to extend their winning streak to six games.
Allen, who was 7 for 9 with a homer, three doubles and seven RBIs in his previous three games, suffered a partial dislocation to his kneecap in a collision on the basepaths during the Patriots’ 4-1 win on Monday.
Wyczawski said he does not believe Allen’s injury will keep him out of the lineup for an extended period of time.
“Will’s really done a good job and we really need to get him back in the lineup,” Wyczawski said. “He’s a solid player and he was starting to see the ball real well, so it’s tough that he’s out of the lineup.”
With its new star out of the lineup, UT Tyler (7-1) moved shortstop Aaron McCain to second, third baseman T.J. Martin to short and first baseman Issac Tijerina across the diamond to third.
The result was just one error, and continuous production up and down the lineup.
“Injuries to me are always opportunities,” Wyczawski said. “It helps us build depth. So the opportunities that (Allen’s) injury creates are good for us in the short term because it gets other guys in position to play, but in the long term, we’ve got to get Will back out here.”
Tijerina, Steven Paramore, David Ring and Jake Ashley all had two RBIs for the Patriots, who banged out 12 hits. Tijerina doubled and Ring tripled for UT Tyler’s only two extra-base hits of the night.
“We scored some runs today, which is good to see,” Wyczawski said. “I was pleased with the offense, but we’re still taking some swings that we’ve got to improve on that were on the outer half of the plate.”
The Patriots used six pitchers to keep the Spartans (0-3) offense in check.
“I think going in we were planning on pitching three or four guys,” Wyczawski said. “It’s still a work in progress.”
Starter Matt Sheppard gave up two runs in three innings, Garrett Machacek (1-0) allowed a run on one hit the following the two innings, Cody Jones allowed a run and struck out three in his two innings and Parker Sheets, Tijerina and E.H. Almand pitched scoreless baseball in the eighth and ninth innings.
“I thought Sheppard came out and threw some decent pitches, and Machacek, that was his first time out on the mound,” Wyczawski said. “I knew he was probably going to be a little nervous, but he’s been real good in practice. Sheets didn’t really throw a lot last week and he came in and dominated his inning. It’s always good to get some guys out there that haven’t been on the mound in a while.”
Freshman Matt Ravey (0-1) suffered the loss for Castleton State, allowing three runs on three hits in three innings. He walked five and did not register a strikeout. Five Spartans pitchers combined to walk 11 batters and deliver five wild pitches.
Castleton State took a 2-0 lead on Zak Mayo’s RBI groundout in the first and Joe Borowski’s run-scoring single in the third.
It was all UT Tyler from there as the Patriots scored 14 times in the next five innings.
Tijerina delivered a two-run single and Paramore came through with a sacrifice fly RBI in a three-run third. Ashley’s RBI single, Ring’s RBI triple and Hayden Chick’s sac fly made it 6-2 UT Tyler after four innings.
Jake Beam scored on a wild pitch in the fifth and Ashley followed with an RBI groundout to increase UT Tyler’s lead to 8-3.
An RBI single by Paramore in the sixth preceded a five-run outburst in the seventh that effectively put the game away for the Patriots. UT Tyler benefitted from an error and five walks by Castleton State pitcher Grant Davis in the inning.
UT Tyler concludes its 11-game homestand this weekend with a three-game series against defending American Southwest Conference champion Concordia-Texas. The series gets started at 6 p.m. Friday, and ends with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday.
No. 23 UT Tyler 14, Castleton State 4
At Irwin Field
Castleton St.101010100—4 8 3
UT Tyler 003 321 50x— 14 12 1
Matt Ravey, Derek Osborne (4), Tim Smith (6), Grant Davis (7), Zach Zoufaly (8) and Nate Swahn; Matt Sheppard, Garrett Machacek (4), Cody Jones (6), Parker Sheets (8), Issac Tijerina (9), E.H. Almand (9) and Hayden Chick, Zane Harber (9). W — Machacek (1-0). L — Ravey (0-1). 2B — CS: Ryan Zielinski, David Brandt. UTT: Tijerina. 3B — UTT: David Ring. SH — UTT: Jake Ashley. SF — CS: Joe Borowski, Cameron Curler. UTT: Chick, Steven Paramore, Tanner Smith. SB — CS: Brandt (2). UTT: Aaron McCain.
RECORDS — Castleton State 0-3; UT Tyler 7-1.
NEXT UP — Castleton State at LeTourneau, 2 p.m. today; Concordia-Texas at UT Tyler, 6 p.m. Friday.
ATT. — 337.