ABILENE, Texas -- Hardin-Simmons' baseball team will continue its 2012 season in the American Southwest Conference Championship Series on Friday evening at 6 p.m. against Texas-Tyler at Irwin Field in Tyler.
The Cowboys needed a three-game sweep last weekend against Howard Payne to secure their eighth straight postseason bid and HSU came up huge with two extra inning wins and a 2-0 win in the third game. It was the first time HSU had won three games in a row all season. The Cowboys go into the series with a record of 19-18 and are the three seed in the ASC West.
Texas-Tyler comes into the game with a 31-9 record and the Patriots tied with Texas-Dallas for the ASC East title but lost the tiebreaker to be the No. 2 seed.
HSU is 4-3 all-time in ASC Championship Series. Five of those seven have been at home. HSU is 0-2 when it has to travel in the ASC Championship Series.
"We have to pitch and play defense, that has been our strong point all season," said HSU head coach Steve Coleman. "We have done a better job of late of timely hitting and that is what we will need. We have to play small ball and come up with some clutch base hits. Everything up to this point is wiped out and we have seen in this tournament the teams with the best records don't always win. It is about being hot and playing your best baseball at the right time."
The Cowboys will rely on a strong pitching staff and a timely offense in the weekend series. Stewart Person, Blake Sieck and Troy Nicholson are the slated Cowboy starters and HSU has one of the top bullpens in the league. Junior relievers James Simmons and Tyler Brunnemann have combined to go 8-3 with six saves and a 1.88 ERA. They have struck out 93 batters in 67 innings of work.
Troy Tarrant leads the Cowboy offense with a .356 average with six home runs and 28 RBIs. HSU hits .267 as a team, which is the lowest in team history.
Texas-Tyler will provide free video and audio of the game at www.uttylerpatriots.com.