Brett Higginbotham struck out a career-high seven batters in win at Gambling.
March 6, 2012
GRAMBLING, La. – The Stephen F. Austin baseball team kicked off an eight-game road stretch, sweeping the Grambling Tigers with a 7-3 victory in the conclusion of a home-and-home series Tuesday night at Wilbert Ellis Field.
Brett Higginbotham (2-0) got his second win of the season in his second midweek meeting against the Tigers (7-4). The Hutto native recorded a career-high seven strikeouts against Grambling, scattering nine hits and two runs across seven innings of work. Higginbotham has accounted for two of SFA (5-8)’s three midweek wins and has started all three contests. The junior, through four appearances, has already recorded a season-high 16 strikeouts in 2012.
A four-run sixth, highlighted by a two-run homer from Hunter Dozier, was enough to get the ‘Jacks back on the winning track before going into conference play. Dozier finished 3-for-5 and was the only Lumberjack with a multi-hit performance in the game.
After a silent first inning, that saw both teams leave a runner on second, the ‘Jacks took a 1-0 lead. With one out in the top of the second, Freddy Villalobos scored Bobby Loveless on a sac fly to right field. Loveless, who opened up the inning with a free pass, advanced to third after a pass ball and grounder in the infield, before coming into give SFA the early lead.
Two innings later Grambling tied things up at one apiece. In the bottom of the fourth Elias Todman singled to start the inning. Two batters later the Tigers got on the board after a double from Brian Knuckles plated Todman.
The game didn’t stay tied for long as the ‘Jacks retook the lead and never looked back in the top of the fifth. SFA scored one to go up 2-1 after Rory Myers, who doubled to lead off the inning, scored on a wild pitch from Brock Baker.
After a silent bottom frame from Grambling, the ‘Jacks would add four more in the top of the sixth. SFA quickly extended their lead to three with Dozier’s two-run homerun that scored Rene’ Moreda who walked to lead off the inning. Jarid Scarafiotti’s double one batter later kept the momentum going and was enough to chase Baker from the game. Scarafiotti would score two batters later off of a single from Loveless. SFA would add one more in the inning off of a bases loaded fielder’s choice from Michael Ruiz.
The ’Jacks got on the board one more time in the top of the seventh as Dozier, who tripled in the inning, scored on a balk from Frank Rivers to go up 7-1.
The Tigers would add two more runs with one each in the seventh and eighth before falling 7-3 to SFA.
The ‘Jacks will continue their road-stretch as the go to Huntsville their conference opener against Sam Houston.