March 10, 2007
The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks won their sixth straight decision on their home field Saturday, taking a 7-4 win from the Texas-Pan American Broncs. Lance Luetge earned his fourth win of the year after pitching five complete innings and giving up only three runs off 10 hits. He struck out two while walking one. SFA now sits with a 9-10 record and UTPA moves to 9-15 on the year.
Kevin Croft hit his second home run - a three-run shot - in as many games in the second inning to put the Lumberjacks up, 3-0. Jared Pitts led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second when Chris Smith singled to left field. The base runners moved over a base when Justin Long hit a sacrifice fly to center field. With two out, Croft hit a home run over the left field wall to give SFA the lead.
The Broncs answered with a run of their own in the third inning. With the bases loaded, Patrick Brooks hit an RBI single to left field to score the runner from third. The next batter grounded into a double play before the final batter flied out to left field. SFA escaped the inning giving up only one run on four hits.
In SFA's half of the fourth inning, Jeremy Arterburn hit a one-out single to left center and scored when Justin Long hit his second triple of the year. The run extended SFA's lead to 4-1.
UTPA came within one when it scored two runs in the top of the fifth, but SFA kept the distance with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the same inning. Steven Hill reached first on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a base hit from Pitts. The pair advanced a base on a wild pitch and then scored when Chris Smith singled through the left side. Despite Smith being thrown out after trying to advance to second on the throw, the Lumberjacks had a 6-3 lead.
The Broncs added one more run in the sixth inning to come within two at 6-4. Pitts added one more run to distance SFA from UTPA when he hit a line drive home run right over the left field wall in the eighth inning for the 7-4 lead.
Heath Konescheck threw gave up three hits, walked four batters and struck out two in 4.0 innings of work to earn his second save of the season.
At the plate, Pitts went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI. His home run was his sixth of the season, the most on the team. Smith also had two hits and collected two RBI and scored a run.
SFA will try to complete the sweep against the Broncs Sunday afternoon. The game is slated for a 1 p.m. start from Jaycees Field.