Twice As Nice: SFA Gets Walk-Off Win vs ORU
April 6, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks were down to their final out, but got a game-tying RBI single from Hunter Dozier in the bottom of the ninth and a walk-off RBI double from Max Lamantia in the bottom of the 10th to give SFA a 2-1 win over Oral Roberts on Saturday afternoon at Jaycees Field.
It was the second straight win in walk-off fashion for the `Jacks (14-16, 5-3 SLC), setting up the possible sweep of ORU (9-20, 4-4 SLC) heading into Sunday's series finale.
SFA managed just six hits on the day after pounding out 13 hits the night before, with four of those base knocks coming in the final two innings. SFA's only extra-base hit of the day came from Lamantia, who one-hopped the wall on a 2-1 pitch from reliever Nathan Garza with one out in the 10th, scoring Freddy Villalobos all the way from first base after the SFA second baseman had led off the inning with an infield single.
The game was a pitcher's duel throughout the afternoon with SFA starter Kyle Cross and ORU starter Drew Bowen tossing matching one-hit shutouts through the game's first five frames. Cross took a no-decision, allowing just five hits in 6.1 innings, fanning two and walking a batter. Brett Higginbotham earned his second straight win in relief, moving his record to 3-2 with 3.0 no-hit innings that included three strike outs.
Bowen was the hard-luck loser for the Golden Eagles, coming just one out shy of a complete-game shutout. The right-hander struck out six and walked just one, allowing just four hits in 8.2 innings before giving way to Garza, who fell to 0-3 with the loss.
Dozier and Villalobos were the only `Jacks with multiple hits, with each going 2-for-4. Dozier's hits stretched his hit streak to 16 games and included the game-tying RBI with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Only two runners for either squad reached as far as second base until the eighth, when consecutive singles for the Golden Eagles to open up the inning put runners on the corners with two outs. That set up left fielder Logan Domenico, who hit a sacrifice fly to left field to put ORU up 1-0.
SFA went down in order in the bottom of the inning, and Higginbotham retired all three hitters he faced in the top of the ninth to get SFA back to the plate. Jordan Camel then gave SFA a breath of life with a lead-off single off of Bowen and was bunted up a base by Rene' Moreda. Two batters later, ORU elected to pitch to Dozier with a base open and the junior slugger made them pay for the decision, lining a 1-1 pitch to right field for an RBI single that scored Camel and sent the game to extra innings.
One inning later, Villalobos got the `Jacks started by beating out an infield single behind the second-base bag. Two batters later, Lamantia finished the job, smashing a shot that hit the left-center field wall on one hop for a double that scored Villalobos all the way from first without a throw.
SFA will go for the sweep of the Golden Eagles on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. when righty Justin Choate gets the ball. He will be opposed by Tim Zufall for ORU.