Baseball shuts down Cameron

Rams continue best start in history

By Deundra Smyth
On March 30, 2017

Photo by Marsalis Mahome
Jay Gonzales, senior first baseman, runs to first after hitting.

Ram baseball opened Lone Star Conference play with a series sweep over the Cameron Aggies, March 24-26.

The four-game sweep over the Aggies boosted the Rams’ record to 22-4 overall and 4-0 in conference play, improving on their best start in the program’s history.

ASU’s offense seemed to click on all cylinders as they outscored Cameron in the series by a final of 45-16.

In the Friday opener, the Aggies striked first in the opening inning but would not score for the remainder of the game.

The Rams, however, scored early and often, including a four-run fifth inning and two runs scored in both the third and eighth innings.

Junior pitcher Matt Shannon started on the mound for the Rams and gave up only one run and four hits in his eight innings pitched, as the Rams dominated for a 10-1 victory. The win earned Shannon his fourth victory of the season.

First baseman Mitch Henshaw scored three runs and added four hits and an RBI to seal the win for the Rams.

In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, the offensive explosion continued for the Rams as they scored 10 runs on 10 hits.

The 10-4 victory proved to be historic, as it marked the fastest to 20 wins in the history of ASU baseball.

Once again, the Aggies would find themselves the first team on the scoreboard. They drove in two first inning runs.

However, starting pitcher Ryan Smith and the Rams would quickly turn things around in the bottom of the first inning, scoring three runs to take a lead they would not relinquish.

A four-run third inning, led by junior outfielder Elias Aguirre, secured the win for the Rams.

In the second game of the double header, Jake Matthys pitched his first complete game of the season and shutout the Aggies for his fourth win of the year.

The offensive onslaught continued for the Rams, as they defeated the Aggies 12-0 behind a six-run sixth inning.

Henshaw continued his stellar play on Saturday,  finishing five for seven hits at bat on the day with four runs and an RBI, while teammate catcher Matt Waller went four for seven, scored twice and brought home four runners.

Matthys delivered a season high in strikeouts (6) and season low in walks (0), as he retired the first four batters he faced and continued his pitching dominance throughout the evening.

“Honestly, I just let the defense do the work behind me,” Matthys said. “You saw [Tyler] Coolbaugh got a diving play, ‘Sobe’ [Jonathan Soberanes] was working hard out there. Everybody behind me was playing great, so I was just trying to throw strikes and limit the balls.”

After the game, Head Coach Kevin Brooks spoke about the performance of his senior pitcher.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Baker said. “He’s really good. The biggest thing is building him up, but he was able to keep the pitch count down. That was big for us and I’m really proud of him.”

In the Sunday series finale, the Aggies jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but were unable to hold off a Ram comeback, allowing ASU to complete the series sweep with a 13-11 win.

After falling behind 8-7 going into the bottom of the third, senior shortstop Tyler Coolbaugh delivered a two-run home run to give the Rams the lead once again.

Senior pitcher Kenton Schroter tied a team high in wins, earning his fifth of the season while his relief, senior Joe Hauser, notched an LSC leading eighth save of the year.

The Rams will hit the road in their next four-game series, heading to Stephenville to take on Tarleton State March 31 through April 2.

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