UT Tyler baseball opens season with 6-5 win over La Verne

TYLER – The UT Tyler baseball team opened its season with a 6-5 win over La Verne on Thursday night despite stranding 11 runners on base and committing six errors at Irwin Field.

The Patriots (1-0) and Leopards (0-1) will continue their non-conference series at 7 p.m. on Friday before closing out the three-game series with a noon game on Saturday.

Cole Clinton earned the win for the Patriots in the opener after throwing 3 2/3 innings of relief where he struck out two and held La Verne to one run until two unearned runs came home in the ninth. With one out and runners on third and second, Graham Welch came in and recorded a called strikeout to earn the save in his first pitching appearance in three season with the Patriots. A junior right-hander from Carthage, Clinton allowed only three hits after starter Max Page went five innings for the Patriots. Page also had two strikeouts and left the game after the sixth inning and with the Patriots trailing by a 2-1 margin.

Josh Burns led the UT Tyler offense with two RBI, including driving in the game’s first run with a double down the left-field line in the second inning and then his second RBI in the seventh when he took a bases loaded walk that gave the Patriots a 5-3 lead. Burns finished the game 1-for-3, while Alex Bishop was 2-for-5 with a pair of singles. Ben Romines added a hit and drove in a run with a groundout in the eighth inning and Welch and freshman Tanner Roach each added one single for the Patriots who finished the game with six hits.

La Verne had nine hits in the game, led by leadoff hitter Jacob Benson who was 2-for-3. The Leopards also stranded 11 runners in the game, but did not commit and error as they hung around until the final at-bat. 

UT Tyler senior Ryan Cheatham is scheduled to make his first start of the season on Friday. The right-hander from Whitehouse is coming off a 9-0 record in his junior season where he earned all-region honors.


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