By COURTLIN HAYGARTH | HSU Sports Network
In his final regular season game at Clyde Berry Field, senior Cade Tucker said a poetic good bye to Reddie fans with a three-run homer to finish things after seven innings of play to clinch the series sweep for Henderson State over Southern Nazarene, 14-3.
Tucker delivered three hits in his grand exit while sitting one double shy of hitting for the cycle. Fellow senior Trevor Davis came to the dish as a pinch-hitter before earning a walk before scoring on one of Tucker’s three RBIs with his over-the-wall shot.
Senior Greyson Stevens finished his illustrious career going 1-for-4 at the plate, including adding to his program record with his 55th career double. Blake Pennington closed his final campaign as the final HSU pitcher to leave the mound at Clyde Berry Field for the 2023 regular season with his hitless seventh inning.
The same pitching theme continued in the series finale with Reese Weaks starting out hot on the mound, sitting the first three Crimson Storm batters down in order. Weaks earned a no-decision after four innings of work where he struck out seven batters. Henderson opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a Luke Farrar lead-off double, followed by Luke Rice coming in two batters later and scoring Farrar on a groundout for the 1-0 lead.
Another scoreless frame for the visitors yeilded HSU’s first crooked number with a pair of runs off a Kaden Argenbright solo home run and throwing error to open the three-run advantage. Southern Nazarene cut the deficit to one with a two-run top of the third, but the HSU offense would not be denied with another single run in the home half to bring the lead to 4-2.
A single run for SNU in the fourth was met by two runs for HSU thanks to three hits, including a Logan Cowart triple, and two walks to extend the lead again before the red-and-gray’s biggest inning of the contest. After Mitchell Szczygiel relieved Weaks at the bump only to face three batters in one of his two innings of work, four runs awaited the home team prior to the first two outs.
All four runs in the fifth came via one hit, one error and three walks to open a 10-3 lead after five innings of play as the second run-rule victory of the series was within reach. One more run in the sixth opened the door for Tucker to finish things early.
After senior pitcher Pennington handed the Crimson Storm their fifth scoreless inning of the game, Farrar’s second double of the game was followed a walk from pinch-hitter Davis as Tucker seized the opportunity in his final game at Clyde Berry Field for the three-run, walk-off home run to finish things early and clinch the series sweep.
Henderson St. (26-17, 17-10 GAC) will finish out the 2023 regular season on the road with a trip to Shawnee, Oklahoma this upcoming weekend to face Oklahoma Baptist before finishing off the regular season on the other side of Highway 7 when it meets Ouachita Baptist for a three-game weekend season finale.