Mackenzie Handel's two-run blast in the eighth lifted SFA to the win over Texas Tech
March 19, 2014
LUBBOCK, Texas – A two-run blast in the eighth inning for Mackenzie Handel vaulted Stephen F. Austin to a 6-3 victory over 25th-ranked Texas Tech at Rip Griffin Park. It marks the third victory this season for the Lumberjacks over a 2013 NCAA tournament team (Alabama, Wichita State).
Handel finished the day going 2-for-3 against the Red Raiders with three RBI and two runs scored. Zach Marberry went 4-for-5 for the ‘Jacks with a pair of RBIs and a run scored while Matthew Dickey was 3-for-5, scoring two of SFA’s runs on the day.
Starter Kyle Cross went three innings for SFA (9-10), allowing three runs on five hits with a pair of strikeouts. Then the SFA bullpen, consisting of Chris Hassold, Cameron Gann, Dillion Mangham and Tyler Wiedenfeld limited the Red Raiders (17-6) to one hit over the final six innings as Mangham picked up the win and Wiedenfeld notched the save.
One night after suffering a 20-4 loss on a game that was delayed two hours due to wind and dust, SFA came out aggressive Wednesday afternoon. The ‘Jacks struck in the top of the first as Handel used a sacrifice fly to score Ricardo Sanchez, giving SFA the early 1-0 lead.
Texas Tech would reclaim the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first but SFA would tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the third following an RBI single from Marberry, scoring Dickey. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Red Raiders reclaimed the lead 3-2 in the bottom of the third.
The ‘Jacks would tie the game once again in the sixth as after a leadoff single, Handel would score courtesy of a sacrifice fly by Brett Thornell. SFA would then take the lead for good in the top of the eighth as Marberry doubled to left center, then was driven in one batter later when Handel launched a blast to right field, giving the ‘Jacks the 5-3 lead.
SFA would add an insurance run in the top of the ninth, thanks to doubles by both Dickey and Marberry, then Wiedenfeld came on to close out the game, preserving the win for the ‘Jacks.
With the split against Texas Tech now in its back pocket, SFA resumes its five-game road trip in Natchitoches, La., facing rival Northwestern State this weekend. Game one of the three-game series is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday evening.