ADA, Okla. - The Fort Hays State baseball team completed a series sweep at East Central Saturday, taking both ends of a doubleheader, 4-3 and 5-1. FHSU improves to 6-2 on the year, while ECU is now 1-8 on the season.
It was the first sweep in a four-game series for FHSU since 2020 (2/14-16 vs. New Mexico Highlands).
Fort Hays State pitchers racked up 22 strikeouts across the two wins, while FHSU batters struck out just eight times on the day.
Jose Cintron, Brady Kreutzer and Isaiah Ural all collected three hits on the day, with Cintron driving in a team-high three RBI and Ural scoring three runs.
Next up for Fort Hays State is the first home series of the season when FHSU hosts New Mexico Highlands in a pair of doubleheaders next Friday and Saturday.
Game 1 - Fort Hays State 4, East Central 3
The doubleheader started with a bang when Ural legged out an inside-the-park home run with two outs in the top of the first. The center fielder sent a liner to right field, where the ECU defender was unable to reach the ball despite a diving effort. The ball rolled all the way to the wall, allowing Ural to circle the bases just before the throw came into the plate.
East Central settled in, posting zeros in the second and third inning before taking its first lead of the series in the home half of the third. Fort Hays State answered back with an unearned run in the top of the fourth, tying the score at four, before a two-run home run off the bat of Elliott Herrmann put FHSU in front for good.
Trevor Baugh (1-0) came out of the pen in the third inning and silenced the ECU bats the rest of the way, allowing just one hit and one walk in 4 1/3 innings of relief while striking out eight. He retired the first eight batters he faced before allowing an unearned run in the sixth. The righty bounced back by mowing down the side in order in the seventh, securing his first win of the season.
Game 2 - Fort Hays State 5, East Central 1
Fort Hays State struggled at the plate early in game two, failing to record a hit over the first three innings. FHSU starting pitcher Rafael Espinoza picked up the slack, allowing just four hits without giving up a run over the first five innings.
The visitors got on the board first in the top of the fourth when Ural led off with a double. He later scored on a single from Cintron before Kreutzer doubled the lead with a double to left.
Cintron and Kreutzer both came through with RBI base hits again in the fifth, helping FHSU push the lead to 5-0. Two singles an intentional walk to Herrmann loaded the bases with two outs for Cintron. The second baseman drove in a pair with a single to left before Kreutzer added another run with a single of his own.
East Central strung together a trio of hits in the sixth to get on the board, closing within 5-1, before Spencer Maley came in to slam the door. The reliever allowed three hits in 3.0 scoreless innings of relief, striking out six batters to earn his first save of the season.
Espinoza (1-0) finished with a line of 6 innings pitched, allowing one run on seven hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. Cintron, Kreutzer and Cesar Saavedra all had two hits in the win.