KISSIMMEE, Fla – The University of the Sciences baseball team suffered a walk-off 7-6 defeat at the hands of the defending Division III national champions, Texas-Tyler, on the Devils' first day of their Spring Break trip on Saturday.
Trailing 2-0 after two and 6-3 after three, USciences stayed in the game thanks to the brilliant relief performance of Jake Patridge, who tied a career-high with five scoreless innings in which the sophomore gave up just four hits and one walk.
That allowed University of the Sciences to get back in the game with two fifth-inning runs, before the Devils tied it at six in the ninth on a Nate Steele hit-by-pitch.
That capped another multi-hit, multi RBI performance for the junior, his third straight, as it was he who made it a one-run game in the fifth with a two-out, two-RBI double.
With one and the bases still loaded, USciences had an opportunity to take its second lead of the afternoon but a double-play quickly halted the Devils' momentum.
Tyler-Texas took that change of momentum into the bottom-half, where back-to-back walks and a fielder's choice paved the way for a walk-off double.
Sophomore Jacob Whittington's second career home run capped a three-run third that erased Texas-Tyler's two unearned runs in the second, giving USciences' its only lead.
The Patriots quickly regained its advantage though, plating four in the bottom-half.
University of the Sciences pulled within one on Steele's two-run double in the fifth after Whittington, Matt McClennen and Stennett all walked earlier in the frame.
That was part of a day in which Stennett reached base three times, on two walks and a hit, while Pena's ninth-inning single capped the rookie's first career multi-hit performance.
Also reaching base twice, via a hit and a base on balls, was Magee and McClennen.
University of the Sciences plays the lone doubleheader of its trip tomorrow, meeting Gannon for two beginning at 2 p.m.