Ricardo Sanchez delivered the game-winning sacrifice fly on Friday vs South Alabama.
March 2, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Ricardo Sanchez hit a walk-off sacrifice fly to score Hunter Dozier in the bottom of the 11th inning, giving Stephen F. Austin a 5-4 comeback win over South Alabama on Friday at Jaycees Field.
The win is the second straight one-run victory for SFA (3-7) of the week and was made possible by a shutdown day from the Lumberjack bullpen as five pitchers combined to toss six shutout innings in relief of starter Zack Taylor. Alex Moshier got the win with easily his best outing of the season, punching out five of the six batters he faced in a perfect two innings of work.
Jaime Dennis took the loss, falling to 0-1 after allowing three hits and one run in 2.2 innings out of the USA bullpen.
The `Jacks trailed 4-2 after the fifth inning and needed a pair of runs in the eighth frame to force extra innings, where SFA capitalized on its third try at reliever Jaime Dennis, who to took the loss for the Jaguars (2-7).
In all, SFA pitchers struck out 17 hitters on the day, the most as a staff in a single game since the program returned to baseball in 2006. Moshier and Taylor led the way in that category with five apiece, while Justin Choate also struck out four batters in two perfect innings of relief. Lefties Mac Cleaveland and Reid Landers, along with righty Cory Ochs each had one strikeout in a combined two innings of work as well.
Meanwhile, at the plate the `Jacks finished with 11 hits for the second consecutive game with Sanchez leading the way with a 3-for-5 afternoon that included a pair of RBI. No, other Lumberjack finished with multiple hits on the day, but both Rory Myers and Jarid Scarafiotti made their hits count with a solo homer apiece in the third inning. Hunter Dozier also finished 1-for-3 with a double, but also drew three walks in six trips to the plate.
USA got on the board in the top half of the first when Jordan Patterson delivered a two-out RBI single up the middle off of Taylor to quickly stake the Jaguars to a 1-0 lead. Then in the third inning, Myers took the first pitch from USA starter Jarron Cito over the right-field fence for his first home run of the season, and two batters later Scarafiotti connected on a 3-2 off-speed pitch for a solo shot of his own that put SFA ahead 2-1.
Taylor responded with a scoreless fourth inning, but got into trouble early in the fifth when an SFA error put the Nolan Earley on first base. Two batters later Nick Zaharion roped a double down the left-field line to score the Earley from second to knot the score. Patterson then came through again with two outs, knocking a single off of Bobby Loveless' glove at first base that trickled into right field to give the Jaguars a 4-2 advantage.
Choate then came in for the `Jacks and did his part by retiring six of the seven hitters he faced and gave SFA a chance to make its comeback. The `Jacks looked to have their best chance to knot it up in the seventh when SFA put runners on second and third with nobody out, but USA reliever Phillip Byrd managed to strike out each of the next three hitters to keep SFA off the board.
One inning later the `Jacks quickly threatened again when Loveless led off the inning with a double off the top of the center-field fence. Jordon Lenaburg followed with a single and two batters later Sanchez cut the lead in half with a sure single through the right side of the infield to plate Loveless. Fola Lajide then followed with a sacrifice fly to deep left field to score pinch runner Corey Bartkowiak, knotting up the score at 4-4.
SFA went quietly in the ninth before threatening again in the 10th when Sanchez and Bryce Cummings opened the inning with singles; however, a sacrifice attempt by Lajide went awry and turned into two quick outs for SFA, sending the game to the 11th.
Moshier did his part by striking out the side in the top half of the ninth and Dozier started the final rally in the bottom half by drawing a six-pitch walk from Dennis. After a bunt and an intentional walk to Loveless, Bartkowiak loaded the bases with a one-out single to set the table for Sanchez who took a 1-0 pitch deep enough to center field to score Dozier standing up with the winning run.
The `Jacks will go for its second win in the series on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. when it takes on South Alabama once again. Senior righty Colton Eubanks is scheduled to get the start.