Statesmen Split Four Games to Open Spring Break

William Penn University Athletics

William Penn University Athletics

Conway, Ark.–Before heading for the Sunshine State next week, the William Penn baseball team began spring break by facing Central Baptist in four non-conference games Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, the Statesmen (4-2) won the opener 6-0 and then lost the nightcap 3-2 in nine innings. Saturday’s results were the same with WPU taking the first game 3-2 (12 innings), but then falling in the second matchup 4-0.

William Penn 6, Central Baptist 0

The Statesmen dominated with a 17-3 advantage in hits, not to mention an additional five Mustang errors.

Brian Williams (Sr., Los Angeles, Calif., Physical Education), who was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, collected one RBI immediately in the first inning. Patrick Roxbury (Jr., Canyon Country, Calif., Sociology), who was also 3-for-4 with two RBIs, notched both with a single in the third frame, while Enrique Alvarado (Sr., Lancaster, Calif., Sociology) also brought home a run with another one-bagger later in the inning. Alvarado had two hits in three at-bats.

Stan Simmons (Sr., Brooklyn, N.Y., Physical Education) capped off the scoring in the fourth with one of his two runs.

William Vazquez (Fr., North Hollywood, Calif., General Accounting) was 3-for-4, while Simmons and Kenny Hall (Jr., Morgan Hill, Calif., Exercise Science) were 2-for-4.

Josh Ruiz (Jr., Chula Vista, Calif., General Mathematics) accepted the run support graciously, but did not need it in a dominating outing. The junior (2-0) struck out seven against one walk in a three-hit shutout.

Central Baptist 3, William Penn 2 (9 innings)

William Penn held a two-run lead entering the final half inning of regulation, but could not shut the door on its host and eventually lost in extra innings.

Alvarado’s single brought in Ryan Keeton (Jr., McCordsville, Ind., Biology) in the second, while Sho Serrano (Jr., Lancaster, Calif., Physical Education) touched home plate on a groundout in the third.

Unfortunately, the Mustangs (10-4) put two on the board in the seventh and then tallied the game-winner in the ninth.

Both sides had eight base knocks with Simmons pacing WPU with a 2-for-3 showing.

Jon Davis (Jr., Hayward, Calif., Undecided) gave up only four hits and managed four strikeouts in six frames. He was relieved in the bottom of the seventh by Corey Lathram (Sr., Brentwood, Calif., Physical Education) after allowing the lead-off single. Lathram (0-1), despite striking out three (one walk), had issues out of the bullpen.

William Penn 3, Central Baptist 1 (12 innings)

The Statesmen returned the favor with an extra-frame win of their own on Saturday. The team held a 12-5 edge in hits and was also helped by nine CBC fielding mistakes.

Each program scored in the sixth with pinch-runner Collin Schulz (Fr., Ottumwa, Iowa, Undecided) doing so for WPU on one of those Mustang errors.

Neither participant was able to break through over the next five frames until Kyle Mauricio (Sr., Ardene Hills, Minn., Physical Education) and Cory DeRush (Jr., Grand Junction, Colo., Business Management) scored in the 12th.

Simmons guided the offensive effort by going 4-for-6, while Vazquez was 2-for-4 and Alvarado finished 2-for-5.

Three Statesmen hurlers combined for a great game. Starter Kyle Maldonado (Jr., Centerville, Iowa, Physical Education) struck out six with two walks and allowed only one hit in four frames. Jacob Logan (Jr., Galesburg, Ill., Psychology) then permitted three hits with three strikeouts (one walk) in four innings, but it was Matt Vasquez (Jr., Lancaster, Calif., Business Management) who collected the win in the end. The junior (1-0) struck out a pair, while giving up just one base knock in his four-inning outing.

Central Baptist 4, William Penn 0

The navy and gold failed to break through in the weekend finale as DeRush, Keeton, and Roxbury had the only hits (WPU outhit 9-3).

Kyle Kutzler (Fr., Kenosha, Wis., Industrial Technology) was good on the mound, but could not overcome the lack of offensive help. The freshman’s first collegiate appearance saw him allow four runs on eight hits (two walks) in 5 2/3 innings. He only permitted one run through the first five frames, but had a tough three-run sixth inning.

“Our pitching was solid against Central Baptist and our defense was also very good,” Head Coach Mike Laird said. “We can definitely improve on our hitting and we hope to do that in Florida.”

Next: William Penn begins the Florida part of its spring break trip Monday with a doubleheader against Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.) at 9 a.m. (Central). All Florida games will be played in Winter Haven.

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