Jaguars sweep Wiley College to win series
April 15, 2017 at 10:30 p.m.
Updated April 16, 2017 at 6 a.m.
Gunner Harrison's recovery from labrum surgery is progressing.
The same could be said for Harrison's performance at the plate and in the field.
The Victoria West graduate had four hits to help UHV sweep a doubleheader over Wylie College on Saturday at Riverside Stadium.
The Jaguars took a 4-3 win in the nine-inning Red River Athletic Conference first game before capturing a 13-2 win in the seven-inning second game.
"I think he's starting to feel better," said UHV coach Terry Puhl. "When you have labrum surgery, it takes a long time before you start getting the strength back."
Harrison had three hits and an RBI in the first game, and added another hit and two RBIs in the second game along with two stolen bases.
"I started using a bigger bat," Harrison said. "Coach Puhl is teaching us all kinds of ways of hitting, and I'm finally figuring out a comfortable spot and starting to drive the ball."
Puhl has seen a marked improvement over the season from Harrison.
"He brings a lot to the table," Puhl said. "He can run. He's one of the few guys on our team who actually has base stealing speed. We're working on his swing a little bit trying to keep his bat longer in the strike zone and at times when he squares it up, he can hit a double."
The Jaguars (14-21, 9-12) combined for 24 hits in the doubleheader, including seven for extra bases.
Joshua Fonseca had four hits, including a three-run home run, as did Andrew Gross, who had two doubles and a solo home run, his 11th of the season.
UHV also played errorless defense to back the pitching of Jacob Atkinson and Grant Westmoreland.
Atkinson carried a shutout into the ninth before Justice Brown hit a three-run home run for the Wildcats (8-32, 3-17).
Westmoreland yielded two runs in six innings and had 11 strikeouts.
"That's the best Grant's thrown all-year long," Puhl said. "He was throwing his changeup along with a pretty good fastball. This is free swinging team over there, and that really plays into his favor."
The Jaguars turned two double plays and caught two Wylie runners attempting to steal.
"Our defense was better all day today," Puhl said. "When Fonseca is playing well at shortstop - he made a really good play in the hole that was a significant play of that game. Gunner turned a double play and those things help."
The Jaguars are going to have to help themselves to earn a bid in the conference tournament.
After hosting St. Edward's in a non-conference game at 2 p.m. Tuesday, they return to conference play Friday against Huston-Tillotson in Austin.
"That's the thing about baseball," Harrison said. "You have the next day to come back and do better than you did before."
UHV 4-13, Wiley College 3-2
Wiley 000 000 003 - 3 8 1
UHV 000 111 10x - 4 12 0
John Rotramel, Gilberto Ruiz (7) and Tyler Bauman. Jacob Atkinson and Chase Almendarez. W: Atkinson (2-2). L: Rotramel (2-7). Highlights: (WC) Justice Brown 1-for-4, 3-run HR; Darian Fleming 2-for-3, 2 2B; Luis Santiago 2-for-4. (UHV) Gunner Harrison 3-for-5, R, RBI; Andrew Gross 2-for-5, 2 2B; Jonathan Banuelos 2-for-3, R; Joshua Fonseca 1-for-4, 2B, RBI. Records: Wiley College 8-31, 3-17; UHV 13-21, 9-12.
Wiley 020 000 0 - 2 6 5
UHV 401 233 x - 13 12 0
Darian Fleming, Joshua Simon (5), Zachary Pearson (6) and Luis Santiago. Grant Westmoreland, Cesar Martinez (7) and Dalton Rodriguez, Chase Almendarez (5). W: Westmoreland (1-0). L: Fleming (1-6). Highlights: (WC) Santiago 3-for-4; Markus Garza 1-for-2, 2-run HR. (UHV) Joshua Fonseca 2-for-3, 3-run HR, 3 R, 4 RBIs; Andrew Gross 2-for-3, solo HR, 2 R, 2 RBIs, SB; Rodriguez 2-for-3, solo HR; Gunner Harrison 1-for-4, R, 2 RBIs, 2 SB; Almendarez 1-for-3, 2B, RBI. Records: Wiley 8-32; UHV 14-21.