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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Hilltoppers split final home series of the season against reigning Division II champions Angelo State University

Courtesy of Athletic Department
The baseball team’s seniors were celebrated before the last game of the series against Angelo State University. Along their families and fellow teammates, they received farewell gifts and played in their home field one last time on Sunday, April 21.

The St. Edward’s University baseball team honored its 18 seniors as part of their annual Senior Day festivities ahead of Sunday afternoon’s home finale at the Lucian-Hamilton Field. The emotional day for players, coaches and families was punctuated by three seniors: Ty Murray and Kyler Kerlin at the plate and Austin Essex on the mound, en route to a 7-5 victory over the Angelo State University Rams.

Murray and Kerlin, who combined collected four of the seven Hilltopper hits, joined the program in 2020 and reflected on the emotions of Senior Day.

Right-handed pitcher Mark Sellers started his second game of the season, playing the first seven innings. Sellers struck out six Rams throughout the game.

“Honestly, it was just exciting,” Murray said. “I’ve been waiting on this for a long time, and to do this in front of my parents, my family, and my brothers and sisters. It felt great. I can’t complain.”

Murray went 2-3 with a double, triple and two runs scored. Kerlin went 2-3 with three RBIs, including an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring Murray, to halt a streak of three unanswered runs from the Rams and make it 7-5 Hilltoppers.

“It felt great,” Kerlin said. “It was very exciting and a little nerve racking with all of my family here. But I was grateful to come through in the clutch.”

Mark Sellers, right-handed junior pitcher and University of California, Santa Barbara transfer,  made his second start of the season. He put together his best outing of the year, striking out six Rams in six innings of work. Sellers exited the game in the top of the seventh inning, with runners on first and second and nobody out.

Graduating senior Austin Essex made his 19th appearance in the final innings of the game. Essex picked off the Rams player on first base for his first out before striking out the two following hitters. (Courtesy of Athletic Department)

Relief pitcher and senior Austin Essex made his team-leading, 19th appearance of the season. He immediately picked off Rams’ second baseman, Ryder McDaniel, for the first out of the inning and struck out the following two batters to escape the frame. Essex breezed through the eighth inning with two strikeouts and a groundout. But he ran into a last-chance threat in the top of the ninth inning, giving up a leadoff single and two-out walk to bring the go-ahead run. With two runners and two outs, Rams left fielder Jacob Guerrero was the next at bat, and Essex induced a fly out to center field to end the game and bring it home for the Hilltoppers.

“(This weekend) showed that we have a lot of fight in us,” Essex said. “To put up multiple good games against a good team like Angelo (State) shows a lot of fight for this squad and that we’re a scary team to play.”

The Hilltoppers close out the regular season on the road against Texas A&M International, on a series from April 26-28. The Hilltoppers currently hold the 8th and final playoff spot in the Lone Star Conference. The first round of the LSC Tournament begins the following weekend, May 3-5.


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About the Contributor
Jack Connolly
Jack Connolly, Staff Writer
Jack is a junior from Omaha, Nebraska and this is his second year writing with "Hilltop Views" as a Staff Writer. He loves sports but will also write about music, social issues and politics.

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