SEU baseball beats St. Mary’s 3-1, tennis move to conference tourney

Posting a 3-1 record over the weekend, baseball wasn’t the only sport that found success this past weekend; men’s and women’s tennis finished the week with a combined 3-1 record, finishing No. 1 and No. 2 in the Heartland Conference Tournament seeding, respectively.

SEU Baseball (20-17, 8-8 Heartland Conference) traveled down to San Antonio to face rival St. Mary’s (25-13, 9-8 HC) in a four-game series that featured a doubleheader on Friday as well as Saturday.

Things didn’t start off well for SEU in game one. A 10-0 deficit by the end of three innings turned out to be too much to recover from. RBI singles by senior shortstop Blake Alexander and freshman designated hitter/pitcher Blake Holub put the only runs of the game on the board for SEU. From an offensive perspective, the 13-3 loss provided a near-perfect preview to how the series would play out.

Game two saw SEU come along with the offensive barrage, building a 10-1 lead through the seventh inning. The scoring started early in the first inning with a pair of two-run home runs courtesy of both Alexander and senior left fielder TJ Giselbach.

Despite being down 10-1 midway through the eighth inning, St. Mary’s resilience was on full display, forcing SEU through two pitching changes to stop the bleeding. After allowing seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, a scoreless ninth preserved a 10-8 win for SEU to cap off Friday.

Locked in a 6-4 lead through four innings in game three, SEU took care of business in the final innings, scoring four more runs while allowing no more to secure the 10-4 victory. Although St. Mary’s out-hit SEU 11-9, SEU showed efficiency on their way to junior pitcher Tanner Lawson’s seventh victory of the season.

The fourth and final game saw SEU’s highest-scoring game in just over a calendar year. Senior center fielder William Hairston was opportunistic, running in four runs on an outstanding 3-for-5 showing. Although SEU only managed 15 hits, the 21-11 win secured a 3-1 series win over St. Mary’s in San Antonio. Prior to this series, St. Mary’s had only lost one time at home.

In tennis, No. 50 SEU men’s (18-9, 4-0 Heartland Conference) started behind after doubles play against No. 22 St. Mary’s (13-6, 3-1 HC) 2-1. Both schools proved why they are ranked, exchanging the lead multiple times until they were stuck 4-4 with the deciding match falling on court five. Although junior Mateus de Col lost his first set against St. Mary’s Roberto Rodriguez, he wound up taking the match 6-7, 6-0, 3-0 to secure the win for SEU, 5-4.

The following day, SEU traveled back to Austin to take on Dallas Baptist (14-6, 0-4 HC) and secured a convincing 8-1 victory, improving their all-time record against DBU to 21-0. With the win, SEU claimed their 10th regular season Heartland Conference Championship in school history, along with claiming the No. 1 seed heading into the conference tournament.

On the women’s side, No. 17 women’s tennis (21-4, 3-1 HC) faced Dallas Baptist (14-9, 0-4 HC) and took the win 8-1 as well. With the win on Friday, they were set to host St. Mary’s the following day to determine the regular season conference champion.

No. 7 St. Mary’s (16-3, 4-0 HC) came into Austin looking to secure their sixth straight Heartland Conference regular season championship. After doubles play, St. Mary’s jumped ahead to a 2-1 lead and didn’t look back. Singles play didn’t turn favorably for SEU, who managed to win only the final two matchups for a 6-3 decision for St. Mary’s and a fall to No. 2 in tournament seeding. Marissa Williams, the lone senior on the team, took home one victory, while junior Elisa Guillen continued her hot streak and secured her 22nd straight singles win and capping off a perfect spring with a 19-0 record.

The Men’s and Women’s Heartland Conference Tennis Championship will take place April 20-21 at Arlington Tennis Center in Arlington, TX, with the first day dedicated to semifinal matchups and the second to final matchups.

No. 1 SEU men’s will face No. 4 University of Arkansas – Fort Smith on April 20 at 11 a.m., followed by No. 2 SEU women’s facing No. 3 University of Arkansas – Fort Smith at 2 p.m. Depending on the results, the winners on these matchups will face either St. Mary’s or Newman for the Championship.