The first game victory not only propelled McM into the post-season, but snapped a six-game ASC West losing skein by the War Hawks. McMurry will enter the ASC playoffs as the No. 4 seed from the West Division.
In the first game, McMurry's Caleb Gonzalez - making just his second career start - gave McM head coach John Byington another quality outing. After being the hard-luck loser to ASC power Concordia-Texas, 2-1, last Saturday, Gonzalez was on the other end of matters versus the Crusaders in the 2-1 War Hawk game one victory.
Gonzalez went 6 1/3 innings and scattered six hits. He allowed one earned run and walked two UMHB batters. Gonzalez evened his personal record at 3-3 with the win.
McMurry staked Gonzalez to a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth. With one out, Nick Marsh was hit by a pitch, moved over to second on the ensuing ground out and took third on a passed ball. Matt Thompson walked to put runners on the corners with two out.
Andrew Bell then delivered an RBI single that plated Marsh with a run that snapped a 23-inning scoring drought by the War Hawks dating back to last weekend. Thompson stopped at second on the play, but came home a few moments later when Bradd Baker slapped a base hit to right field to make it 2-0 with what would prove to be the game-winning RBI.
The Crusaders added their lone run of the game in the bottom of the fourth, 2-1.
Gonzalez settled in and got the first out of the seventh inning. But a double to right by UMHB's Seth Lynn would end Gonzalez's day, as Charlie Hejny came on in relief. Hejny struggled from the outset, walking the first two batters he faced to load the bases.
That brought UMHB leadoff man Zach Young to the plate with a chance to deliver the game-winning blow for the home team. Young drilled a sharp liner to second base, where McM's Marcellous Biggins fielded the ball on one hop, flipped the ball to shortstop Kory Moench covering the bag, who fired over to first to complete the 4-6-3 doubleplay to preserve the win and send McMurry into next week's ASC playoffs.
Hejny recorded his fourth save of the 2012 season.
In the second game loss, McM wasted a two-home run game from first baseman Thompson, falling 6-5. Thompson hit a solo shot in the War Hawks' two-run second and added a three-run blast in the third.
But that would account for all of McMurry's offense. The Crusaders chipped away at the 5-0 deficit, eventually knotting matters by pushing across and unearned run in the bottom of the ninth and then winning it in the bottom of the tenth, also with an unearned run.
McM committed four errors in the game.
Hejny was the losing pitcher in the second game. Hejny was the fifth War Hawk hurler, pitching the final two innings, as he fell to 0-2 on the year.
Starter Casey Berryman went the first five innings, allowing three hits and one earned run. He struck out five and walked two before exiting the game.