WTAMU baseball takes series from UT Tyler, head coach Matt Vanderburg wins 500th game with program


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Matt Vanderburg won his 500th game as the head coach at WTAMU on Sunday afternoon at Wilder Park. [Jose Contreras/ WT athletics]
The #No. 4 West Texas A&M Buffaloes slugged out an 18-16 win on Sunday in the heavy winds to cap off a Lone Star Conference series victory over UT Tyler at Wilder Park.

The Buffs take three out of four from the Patriots after opening the series with a 7-4 victory on Friday, then getting a split on Saturday. The Buffs lost another offensive outpouring 16-15 in the early game before winning the night cap 8-2.

Sunday’s win was also a very special one for veteran head coach Matt Vanderburg. The skipper won his 500th career game leading the Buffs in 19 seasons and is now one win away (599) at 600 for his illustrious career.

The Buffs (22-8 overall) are now 22-7 in the LSC and will hit the road to open a four-game series at conference foe Arkansas-Fort Smith beginning Thursday.

Game 1

WTAMU was able to take the opener 7-4 behind three-run seventh inning giving the Buffs much needed insurance.

Leading 4-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Josh Zapata singled to right with one out to plate Kory Schmidt followed by an Owen Alsup RBI double to center to force a UTT pitching change, Paul Wittmann added to the WT lead with a drag bunt single to make it 7-2.

Schmidt finished the day 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBIs. Starting pitcher Maddux Hoaglund worked 7.1 inning allowing three earned runs but did rack up nine strikeouts for his first win of the year.

WTAMU infielder Rodric Black starts to turn a double play during a game earlier this year. [Jose Contreras/ WT athletics]

Game 2-3

The Buffs were in for a wild Saturday.

The Patriots jumped out to a lead in the early game during the top of the first inning as Lane Hutchinson lifted a two-run homerun to left field with no outs followed by a Blake LaBuda walk with the bases loaded, UTT wasn’t done yet as Connor Clark lifted a sac fly to left followed by a Jordan Ardoin RBI double before a wild pitch and a Nathan Carriere RBI single. Ethan Menard kept the inning alive with an RBI double to center for the 8-0 lead.
WT responded in the bottom of the second as Owen Alsup drew an RBI walk with the bases loaded and one out followed by an Elijah Batista grand slam to left and a Ryan Camacho RBI double to make it 9-6.

The Buffs came back with yet another big inning as Batista was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded followed by a Pau Wittmann RBI double to center that scored two, Kyle Micklus lifted a sac fly to right followed by back-to-back RBI doubles from Ryan Camacho and Kory Schmidt to cut the lead to 13-12.

UT Tyler extended their lead in the sixth as LaBuda singled thru the right side with no outs to score Bedgood followed by a double play grounder that scored Ochoa to make it 15-12. WT answered in the bottom of the frame as Glenn Noronha doubled down the left field line to plate Rodric Black followed later in the frame by a Camacho two-run single up the middle to tie the game at 15-15.

The Patriots retook the lead in the top of the ninth with two outs as Menard singled thru the right side to drive in Ardoin for the 16-15 lead.

In the night cap, WTAMU got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning as Jovan Camacho singled thru the right side with one out to drive in Glenn Noronha followed later in the frame by a Micklus grand slam down the right field line, WT wasn’t done yet as Fesperman doubled to left to drive in a run followed by a Noronha two-run single up the middle for the 8-2 lead.

Starter Matt Milner (3-1) had a strong showing going six innings without giving up an earned run with five K’s.

Game 4

Trying to beat the extreme wind, the Buffs and Patriots played at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning.

In another high scoring affair, the Buff bats were too much in a crazy 18-16 victory to clinch the series getting Vanderburg his 500th program win.

WTAMU slugger Dylan Fesperman was 2-for-4 with a double, a homer finishing with four RBIs. Teammates Dave Janssen and Josh Zapata also homered.

The Buffs tallied a total of 14 hits and six extra base-hits. Despite the loss, the Patriots pounded out an incredible 24 hits in the game.

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