WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - It doesn't seem that long ago. Hagen Hutchinson was set to be the next great signal caller at Midwestern State.
He was well on his way in his sophomore season earning honorable mention All-Lone Star Conference honors while helping the Mustangs to a 10-2 record as the top seed in Super Region Four heading into the playoffs.
Hutchinson's path was derailed due to an injury in spring of 2016 as he returned to play in two games as a reserve last season.
The former Stamford High standout returned to form in the 30th Annual Maroon & Gold Spring Game throwing for 163 yards and three touchdowns to lead Gold to a 22-13 win over Maroon.
Hutchinson completed his first nine passes Saturday night. Six of them went for at least 10 yards including a game opening 32-yard hookup with Tyrique Edwards with scoring strikes to Tyler Milliken (11) and Ta'Vion Barnes(17).
His play helped the Gold squad roll out to a 22-7 halftime which was more than enough to hold of the Maroon which rallied with a 61-yard scoring strike from Zach Purcell to Xavier Land early in the third quarter.
Land, a junior-to-be from W.T. White High in Dallas, paced all receivers with 122 yards on four receptions, while Gold was led by Edwards who snagged six catches for 78 yards. Milliken finished with 55 yards on four receptions with a touchdown.
Rising senior Nicholas Gabriel led all rushers with 81 yards on 20 carries.
Layton Rabb completed 9-of-18 passes for 106 yards and an interception as Maroon's starting signal caller.
Tristan Shearman and Colby Vidrine posted seven tackles for Maroon, while seven different defenders logged three stops for Gold as redshirt-freshman Chris Hawkins accounted for the game's lone interception and a tackle for loss.
Midwestern State opens the 2018 season against Humboldt State on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The MSU Texas softball team put up five runs in the third and fifth innings to take the series opener against Texas Woman's, 10-2, on Saturday in Denton. In game two, the Midwestern State pitching staff held the Pioneers hitless for the first four frames before surrendering a four-spot in the fifth in a 4-0 setback.
The Mustangs move to 14-20 on the season and 8-18 in Lone Star Conference play.
In the opener, MSU's 1-4-hole hitters of Tucker Caraway, Kelsey Eropkin, Lauren Lindgren and Amanda Thomas combined to go 9-for-15 with seven runs, six RBI, three doubles and a home run to power the Mustangs offense. Caraway and Eropkin each logged three hits, going 3-for-4.
Starting pitcher Abbie Lancaster bounced back after surrendering a run in the bottom of the first to keep the Pioneers in-check. The junior gave up two runs (one earned) on nine hits with a season-best no walks while striking out five in five innings of work.
Trailing 1-0, MSU loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third. After a pair of popups, freshman Marley Eller singled up the middle to tie the contest before a two-run double from junior Carli Woolsey gave the Mustangs the lead for good, up 3-1. A walk and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch from freshman shortstop Caycee Griffin added another when Caraway beat out an infield single to extend the inning and plate another run.
In the fifth, the Maroon and Gold extended the lead even further with its second five-run inning of the day. With Woolsey and Caraway aboard, Eropkin and Lindgren rifled back-to-back doubles to drive home three. Thomas capped the scoring with her team-leading sixth long ball of the season, a two-run blast against the wind to left.
In the nightcap, the MSU pitching staff of Gracie Bogle, Tucker Caraway and Kelsey Knox held the Pioneers to just two hits, but five walks allowed TWU to plate its four runs.
Bogle stymied TWU, tossing three innings of no-hit ball to start the game. The tall right-hander struck out five of the 11 batters faced and worked around a walk to keep the game scoreless.
Caraway was tagged with the loss despite not allowing a hit. The Whitewright native gave up three walks and a HBP, exiting with two aboard in the bottom of the fifth.
With the no-hit bid still intact and the bases-loaded, TWU's Hazel Puempel broke up the no-no on an RBI infield single to scratch across the game's first run. Jordan Kisselburg followed, lining a two-run single into left to stretch the lead to 3-0 before a fielder's choice added the fourth run for the Pioneers.
The Mustangs were limited to five hits in the setback, with Eropkin extending her hitting streak to nine games after a pair of multi-hit efforts.