Reddies baseball finish as GAC runners up

By: 
Troy Mitchell
HSU Sports

For the third consecutive year Henderson State finished as runners-up at the Great American Conference Baseball Tournament as the Reddies lost to Arkansas-Monticello 6-1 in the championship game, Sunday in Arkadelphia.

Henderson collected just four hits in the game and stranded eight base runners while UAM totaled 10 hits and played solid defense to win its second straight GAC Championship.

UAM, 32-19 on the year, struck first in the second-inning as Guy Halbert reached on a one-out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Reddie starting pitcher Austin Cross.

With two-outs, Austin Brakebill delivered a seeing-eye single to left field to score Halbert. Lathan McFadden then blasted a double over the head of HSU center fielder Alan Hall to score Brakebill. The inning continued with Nick Piraino reaching on a walk and tournament MVP Brian Ray driving in the third run with a single to right field to give the Boll Weevils a 3-0 lead.

Henderson cut into the deficit in the third-inning as the Reddies loaded the bases thanks to a walk, a hit batter and a single by Hall. Hayden Lessenberry drove a Kris Brown pitch to deep right field that was caught by McFadden as he banged into the wall. Nolan Ryan scored on the sacrifice fly to make the score 3-1.

The Boll Weevils tacked on an unearned run in the fourth and two more in the seventh on a two-run blast by GAC All-Tournament selection Brady Weiss.

Hayden Lessenberry had two doubles in the game with Hall and Brentten Schwabb both having singles.

Bryant Haralson entered the game in the third-inning on just two days rest and pitched 5 1/3 innings picking up a pair of strikeouts.

Henderson landed four players on the GAC All-Tournament Team including Hayden Lessenberry, Parker Jones, Bryant Haralson and Bryant Haralson.

Lessenberry had six extra-base hits in the tournament including five doubles, a home run and five runs batted in.

Jones finished the six games hitting .480 going 12-for-25 with a pair of doubles and four runs batted in.

Patterson totaled three saves in the tournament and struck out eight batters in six innings of work. Patterson finished the year with 13 saves.

Haralson worked 19 2/3 innings while striking out 20 batters in picking up two wins. Haralson finished with 114 strikeouts on the year, the second most in a season in GAC history.

The Reddies finished the year with a 32-21 record. It is the third straight year Henderson finished with 30 or more wins.

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