SFA Gets Walk-Off Win in 13 Innings
March 6, 2013
BATON ROUGE, La. - Jackson Hood hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 13th inning and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks split a trip to Baton Rouge, taking a 6-5 win over Sacred Heart on Wednesday afternoon at Alex Box Stadium.
The walk-off was necessary after the Pioneers (0-4) forced extra innings with three runs in the final two frames after the `Jacks (4-7) had built up a 5-2 lead. Hunter Dozier finished the day 4-for-6, with hits in his final three at-bats, including a leadoff single in the 13th before scoring his third run of the game to give the `Jacks the win.
It made a winner of Garrett Powell (1-0), who struck out two and allowed just two singles in 4.2 shutout innings of relief against the Pioneers, a team who won the Northeast Conference Tournament a year ago and qualified for an NCAA regional.
James Cooksey took the loss for SHU, allowing one run on two hits in 1.1 innings of relief.
In all, the Lumberjacks pounded out 18 hits on the day, but was just successful with four hits in 23 tries in RBI chances before Hood's game-winner. Hood finished the day with a pair of hits after starting the game on the bench and was one of six Lumberjacks with at least two hits on the day.
Jordan Camel continued to be a pleasant surprise with three hits and a pair of RBI, and Max Lamatnia added three hits in five at-bats. Ricardo Sanchez and Freddy Villalobos each also had a pair of hits.
The Pioneers staked themselves to a 2-0 lead with runs in the second and fourth innings off of SFA starter Kevin Bishop, the first coming on an RBI double from Brian Castles and the second when Jayson Sullivan reached on the first of three SFA errors on the day, scoringVictor Sorrento from second base.
Sacred Heart starter Jeff Stoddard, meanwhile, cruised through the first three innings before running into trouble in the fourth, starting with Dozier's first of two doubles on the day. Sanchez followed two batter later to get SFA on the board, scoring Dozier. Camel then followed with a double to left field that scored Sanchez, knotting the game at 2-2 after four frames.
Bishop then navigated into the sixth inning before giving way to Cody Priest out of the bullpen, keeping SHU off the scoreboard until the top of the eighth. In the meantime, SFA managed to take a 5-2 lead with a three-run seventh inning. It started when Matthew Dickey reached on a Pioneer error and two hitters later Freddy Villalobos tripled to right field, scoring Dickey to put SFA ahead 3-2. Then, after an intentional walk to Dozier, both Sanchez and Camel answered again with an RBI single and an RBI double to give SFA a three-run lead.
Sacred Heart answered with two runs in its half of the eighth off of reliever Brett Higginbotham, and tied it up an inning later in the top of the ninth when a one-out hit-by-pitch of Jesus Medina was followed by a pair of stolen bases from pinch runner Jonathan Servilla. Unfortunately, SFA's throw to third on the second steal attempt went awry into left field, allowing the tying run to score for the Pioneers.
SFA had its chances to win in walk-off fashion in both the ninth and 11th innings when Dozier led off each inning with a double; however, he was stranded on third in the ninth, and the `Jacks had the winning run thrown out at the plate in the 11th.
But Powell kept Sacred Heart off the board after entering after the tying runner had already reached base in the ninth and kept the Pioneers off the board the rest of the way, biding time until SFA was finally able to scratch across one more run.
That run came in the 13th when Dozier singled to center to open the inning, then swiped second base and moved to third on a grounder from Michael Ruiz. One batter later, Hood singled on an 0-2 pitch to end things in walk-off fashion.
The `Jacks will now return home for their first weekend home series of the year, beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. vs Arlington Baptist. The game will serve as SFA's first night game since bringing baseball back in 2006.