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The Catholic and Marianist University

Vrzal, Kucera Dominate as Baseball Sweeps OPSU

San Antonio – Tommy Vrzal tossed his first career no-hitter and Zach Kucera had a shutout in the first game as St. Mary’s University swept a Heartland Conference baseball doubleheader against Oklahoma Panhandle State University, 10-0, 2-0, Friday afternoon at V.J. Keefe Memorial Stadium.

Vrzal (Sr., San Antonio) got into some early trouble in the second game of the doubleheader, but once he worked his way out of it went on to toss a gem. The Aggies used an error and two walks to load the bases with two outs in the first inning. But Vrzal struck out James Fisher to end the threat. The Aggies had a batter reach in each of the next two innings before Vrzal settled down and retired 12 straight batters. He finished by allowing just three walks, while striking out nine in seven innings to improve to 8-1 this season.

The Rattlers scored the only runs they would need in the game in the third inning. Ryan Femath (Sr., El Paso) reached on an error to lead off and Michael Brzezinski (So., Helotes) doubled to give St. Mary’s a 1-0 lead. Two batters later Jonathon Cisneros (Fr., San Antonio) doubled to bring home Brzezinski.

In the first game Zach Kucera (Jr., Spring) was in complete command as well, allowing just four hits and one walk, while striking out 11 in the complete game shutout. It was his sixth complete game and second shutout of the season. But the strong outing nearly didn’t happen. In the first inning OPSU mounted a two-out rally with three straight singles to load the bases. But Kucera struck out Fisher to end the threat. After that the Aggies were able to manage just one more base hit.

Offensively the Rattlers put six runs on the board in the second inning, keyed by Brzezinski’s base-loaded triple to take a 6-0 lead. In the fourth inning the Rattlers put the game completely out of reach with four more runs. Brzezinski went 2-for-2 in game one and was 4-of-5 for the doubleheader. Femath went 3-for-3 in game two.

With the wins St. Mary’s improved to 32-16 overall and 24-10 in Heartland Conference play. OPSU fell to 6-33, 3-27. The teams will wrap up their four-game HC series on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.

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