By COURTLIN HAYGARTH | HSU Sports Network
MAGNOLIA — Henderson State threw six pitchers Tuesday night as the combined effort held No. 14 Southern Arkansas to just one run on five hits compared to Henderson’s own four runs on eight hits. The standout pitching effort gave the Reddies their third win of the season over the nationally ranked Muleriders, 4-1.
It is the second time this season HSU has held SAU to a single run. In the first game of the weekend series earlier this season, Henderson defeated Southern Arkansas by the same score off seven hits for the blue-and-yellow.
Ethan Perry picked up his first win of the season on the mound while Mitchell Szczygiel earned his second save. Perry relieved Ethan Roark after two innings only to pitch two scoreless innings himself, claiming three strikeouts while allowing just two hits. Szczygiel upheld Henderson’s 4-1 lead over the final two innings, sitting down six straight Mulerider batters to close the contest.
At the plate, Charles Hoof led the Reddie bats with a pair of hits while Luke Rice reached base three times thanks to one hit and two walks. Colton Patterson recorded his second home run of the season in the fifth inning to open a 3-0 HSU lead.
Two of the first three Henderson batters reached courtesy of a walk before Kaden Argenbright delivered a two-out single to score the previously-walked Greyson Stevens. A quick three outs for Roark in the home-half of the first sent play into the second frame with a 1-0 advantage for the red-and-gray.
Both pitchers did their job in the second and third before the Reddies added to their lead in the fourth when another two-out single, this time off the bat of Rice, scored Luke Farrar for a 2-0 lead. Perry then stranded two SAU base runners in the bottom of the fourth to keep the lead safe.
Patterson’s solo home run came in the fifth before Henderson’s defense turned a double play in the bottom of the frame with Dawson Goines on the bump to keep SAU scoreless. Logan Cowart stole home in the in the sixth to complete the offensive output for HSU at four runs followed by Southern Arkansas’ first run of the game. From there, the Reddie pitchers held down the fort.
The combination of Payton Byrd and Szczygiel sat down the final nine Mulerider batters in order across the last three innings to give Henderson its third victory over Southern Arkansas on the season. The transfer from Fort Scott Community College struck out the final Southern Arkansas batsman to put the game on ice.
Henderson St. (16-11, 8-7) will bring the momentum of the big midweek victory back home to Clyde Berry Field where it will host East Central in a three-game weekend series beginning Friday, Mar. 24 at 6 p.m. This season, HSU is 12-3 at home and 2-0 in conference series.