UTSA Takes Series Finale From SFA
March 25, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Lumberjacks out hit UTSA, but were hindered by their own mistakes in a five-run second inning that proved to be the difference in a 7-3 Roadrunner win in the series finale Sunday at Jaycees Field.
The loss avoids the first ever sweep by SFA (9-14, 4-5 SLC) over the Roadrunners (11-13, 3-6 SLC), primarily due to UTSA starter Michael Kraft who got the complete-game win with a 137-pitch effort that saw him shut out the SFA offense over the final six innings to move to 4-2 on the season.
Brett Higginbotham fell to 2-2 on the year after allowing five runs, just three earned, before giving way to five relievers who went the rest of the way. Chase Greening finished with four of SFA's five strikeouts in two innings of relief.
Hunter Dozier and Zach Benson led the offense with two hits apiece as part of SFA's 10-hit attack, but the `Jacks were not able to string anything together after the third inning and was just 3-for-13 with runners on base on the afternoon.
Horatio Correa III quickly put UTSA on top in the first, taking the third pitch of the game over the right-field fence for a solo homer. It was the first homer by an SFA opponent at Jaycees Field since Southeastern Louisiana's Joe Sparacino homered in the final game of the 2010 season, a span of 36 games.
One inning later the `Runners broke it open, with plenty of help from the `Jacks. Ryan Dallton was hit by a pitch to start the inning and after a collision between first and second allowed Jake Wood and Dalton to each be safe, Matthew James beat out a sacrifice bunt to load the bags. Higginbotham then brought in a run by hitting the next batter, prompting SFA to go to the pen for the first of five pitching changes on the day with Colton Eubanks coming in.
A Lumberjack error on the next play allowed another run to score, as did a double play on the very next hitter. Casey Selsor then benefitted from a misplayed ball in center field, tripling to score the fifth Roadrunner run of the inning.
SFA cut the lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the second when Rene' Moreda doubled off the right-field fence to score Freddy Villalobos; however, Kraft managed to minimize the damage by striking out Zach Benson and getting Bryce Cummings to fly out, leaving runners stranded on second and third.
Max Lamantia cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, rocketing his second homer of the year, a two-run shot over the center field wall to trim the lead to 6-3. But that was all SFA would get the rest of the day as Kraft settled in and kept the `Jacks off the scoreboard the remainder of the afternoon, getting one more insurance run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly from Daniel Rockett.
SFA will next fly to Albuquerque, N.M., for a two-game midweek series against New Mexico at Isotopes Park. The `Jacks will then travel to Natchitoches, La., next weekend for a three-game series at Northwestern State.