April 3, 2011
SAN MARCOS, Texas - The Lumberjacks pounded out 14 hits and scored six runs with two outs while Jason West tossed the final three innings for his fifth save of the year to help SFA avoid a sweep and take the series finale from Texas State, 7-6, on Sunday at Bobcat Field.
The win puts the `Jacks (20-9, 9-3 SLC) just a single game back of the first-place Bobcats (19-8, 10-2 SLC) in the Southland Conference standings through four weekends of play.
Bryson Myles led off the game with a solo homer on the very first pitch and finished the day 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI to lead the offense, but it was Chris Hernandez's two-out, two-run double in the top of the seventh that proved to be the game-winning hit as the Lumberjacks never trailed the entire afternoon.
Landon Kozeny picked up his third win of the season with just a third of an inning of relief behind 5.2 innings from starter Zack Taylor, who had struck out four Bobcats in his first five innings of work before leaving in the sixth. West did not have a run allowed on his ledger, and struck out a pair for his 13th career save, and fifth of the season.
Fielding Pittman took the loss with 0.2 innings of work for Texas State.
After Myles' homer off of Texas State starter Colton Turner in the first, Justin McAninch picked up the first of his two hits on the day with a single to left field that plated Jackson Hood to give SFA a 2-0 lead. Taylor was stellar early on as well, allowing just one single through the first three innings and retiring nine in a row until a two-out infield hit from Casey Kalenkosky got things going in the fourth. He moved up a base when Taylor hit Jeff McVaney, and then came in to score on a sharp single to center by Andrew Stumph to cut the lead to 2-1.
A two-out error by Isaac Nuti one inning later helped SFA get that run back as Hood was able to plate Jarid Scarafiotti from second one batter after the miscue. But again, the Bobcats were able to answer with a two-out rally one inning later. After Tyler Sibley and Bret Atwood each reached with two away in the fourth, Kyle Kubitza hammered the first pitch he saw for a triple off the center field wall to plate both runners; however, Kubitza was thrown out at the plate by Taylor after the relay throw had skipped away at third, ending the inning with the score knotted at 3-3.
The `Jacks went back on top in the top of the sixth with a two-out rally of their own, using a double from Michael Haynes and an error on Bobcat right fielder Cory Falvey to re-take a 4-3 lead. One batter later Myles sent a liner into left center to bring in Haynes and give SFA a two-run advantage that would only last until the bottom of the frame when Stumph launched an 0-1 pitch out to left field for a two-run bomb that tied it up.
But again SFA was up for the challenge and answered at the plate with its fifth and sixth two-out runs of the day in the top of the seventh. A one-one single from Scarafiotti was followed by a walk to Hood by Pittman, prompting Texas State to go to the pen to get McVaney. The lefty then struck out Justin McAninch for the second out, but left an 0-2 pitch over the plate to Hernandez, who hammered one into the right-center power alley to bring in both runs and put the `Jacks in front, 7-5.
West then came in with a runner on and nobody out in the bottom half of the inning, and despite allowing a two-out double to Kalenkosky to cut the lead back to just a run, struck out McVaney on three pitches to leave the tying run at second base.
The junior then left a runner on in the eighth, and got some defensive help in the ninth to close it out. After striking out Sibley to open the final frame, a single from Atwood gave the `Cats life; however, Riley Huble gunned down Atwood trying to steal and then made a diving catch on a foul ball near the SFA dugout on a pop up by Clint Vest to end the game.
SFA is back in action on Tuesday when it travels to Houston Baptist to take on the Huskies in a 3:00 p.m. start.