MARSHALL, Texas – Throwing a no-hitter through four innings and allowing just one run, #15/19 East Texas Baptist University pitchers combined for a four-hit victory over the University of La Verne, 9-1. The Tigers have now won 39 games which continues to be a program best.

“I thought our guys showed up ready to play – from the pitching staff, the offensive approach – we continue to do what we have done all year,” said head coach Jared Hood. “Our guys came up with some big hits and we kept throwing up zeros. It was a well-played game.”

ETBU finished with 13 hits as Jordan Hara and Brett Wagner both had three hits. Hara led the team with three RBI while Will Kelley had two RBI and Nick Massarini, Wagner, Jase Jones, and Jake Miller posted one RBI. Hara added two doubles and both Wagner and Jones had a home run.

Cole Godkin went six innings for his seventh win of the year allowing just two hits, no earned runs, while striking out four. Robert Craft worked two innings allowing one earned run and two hits and Matthew Irwin pitched the ninth retiring the side.

Hood commented on Godkin’s performance and getting out of a jam with the bases loaded in the fifth inning with one out saying, “Godkin has overcome so much in his career and even this year of late finding ways to be consistent. I trust this kid with everything I got and the biggest moment in the game, it was his baseball. You just give him a chance – even if he was a little tired – and he found a way to pull it off like he often does. I am really proud of him and his effort.

Through four innings, Godkin had thrown a no-hitter retiring the side in the second and third innings. In the fifth inning, as ETBU had a 6-0 lead, the first batter grounded out but back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases. UL decided to pinch hit but Godkin responded striking out the next two batters as ETBU the Leopards scoreless. He went on to pitch the sixth inning facing four batters with a walk, two ground outs, and a fly out to end his day on the mound.

After a scoreless first inning, Wagner started the second with a single. A ground out and a wild pitch put him on third as Kelley singled up the middle for the first run of the game. Kelley advanced to third on a Nicolas Chavez single and Miller made it 2-0 on a bunt single bringing in the second run.

In the fourth inning Kelley doubled in Jones for a three-run lead. After Kelley’s double, UL’s pitcher struck out the next two batters but Massarini singled to left center field as Kelley was the fourth run of the game. Massarini then stole second and went to third on a wild pitch and two batters later came home on Hara’s double to right center field putting the score at 6-0 as two runs came in.

UL did get one run on the board in the top of the seventh inning but ETBU answered with three in the bottom of the inning. Hara doubled in Wilson for the seventh run. After a strikeout, Wagner hit his 15th home run of the game with two outs making it 8-1. UL put in a new pitcher after that home run and Jones followed with a shot to left field as ETBU went up 9-1.

Croft finished the eighth inning for ETBU facing just four batters and Irwin retired the side in the ninth securing the win.

ETBU has to win just one game on Saturday to advance to the NCAA Division III National Championship round in Iowa. The first game vs. La Verne is at 11:00 a.m. with the if-needed game following at 45 minutes after the end of the first game.