Dozier's Walk-Off Single Pushes SFA Past UTSA
March 24, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Hunter Dozier hit a walk-off RBI single over the left-field fence to score Bryce Cummings in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Stephen F. Austin a 4-3 win over UTSA on Saturday at Jaycees Field.
The hit was Dozier's third of the day, and would have been a walk-off home run had he not passed Cummings on the base paths rounding first base. Still, the sophomore had just enough to give SFA (9-13, 4-4 SLC) its second straight win in the series over UTSA (10-13, 2-6 SLC) and third in a row dating back to last season.
UTSA stranded 14 runners on base on the day, thanks in large part to the Lumberjack bullpen who threw five shutout innings in relief of starter Cody Priest who was making his first start of the season. Priest scattered eight hits in six innings, striking out three and walking one before giving way to the trio of Justin Choate, Cass Ingvardsen and Alex Moshier who went the rest of the way. Moshier claimed the win with three innings of shutout relief, getting all three of his strikeouts in the ninth when he left the potential go-ahead run on second base.
Matt Sims was tagged with his first loss of the season after allowing Dozier's hit, having pitched well in two innings of work before issuing a leadoff walk to Cummings, which was followed by Dozier's heroics. Justin Anderson threw six innings in making the start for the Roadrunners, only allowing one hit in his final five innings of work after a three-run first frame.
SFA did not take long to get to Anderson when Ricardo Sanchez, who finished the day 2-for-3 himself, shot a double over Casey Selsor's head in right field in the first inning to score Rene' Moreda from third to put SFA ahead 1-0. One batter later, Max Lamantia kept a hard grounder within the bag at third base to score Dozier and Sanchez, quickly giving the `Jacks a 3-0 lead after just one innig.
Priest surrendered an unearned run in the UTSA half of the second when Anderson beat out a double play, but the junior rebounded to keep the `Runners off the scoreboard in each of the next three innings.
Meanwhile, Anderson had settled in himself, picking off runners in both the fourth and fifth innings before being lifted to open the seventh. That was just after the `Runners knotted things up with two runs in the top of the sixth. Anderson, once again, delivered one of the big blows with an RBI double into the right-field corner, but it was shortstop RJ Perucki who tied things up by fisting a two-strike pitch into left field for a single that scored Anderson from third.
UTSA threatened to go ahead one inning later when Selsor led off with a double off of Priest, but Choate and Ingvardsen managed to keep him from crossing home to keep things tied. The `Runners had another threat in the top of the ninth when Daniel Rockett singled to open the inning. SFA then went to Moshier out of the pen, and after he struck out all-SLC third baseman Ryan Dalton, Rockett made things more difficult by swiping second base; however, Moshier was able to bear down and struck out Matthew James and Anderson to keep the score tied.
SFA had its chance to win it in the ninth as well when Sanchez led off with an infield hit, but Sims did his best to equal Moshier by working around the next three `Jacks he faced to send the game to extra innings.
The teams traded zeros in the 10th and Moshier worked around a leadoff single by Selsor in the 11th to get the top of the SFA order to the plate in the bottom of the frame. Cummings opened it up by drawing a five-pitch walk from Sims and Dozier followed that by depositing the next pitch over the left-center field fence for what would turn out to be a walk-off single after passing Cummings on the bases.
The `Jacks will go for its first-ever series sweep of UTSA on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Brett Higginbotham is slated to get the start for SFA.