April 10, 2010
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Stephen F. Austin crushed a season best four home runs and struck out a combined 11 hitters in winning its fifth straight game, 13-9, over UTSA to clinch the series Saturday at Roadrunner Field.
The `Jacks (21-9, 9-4 Southland) tied its longest win streak of the year with its fifth consecutive victory and will go for its first-ever sweep on UTSA's (12-17, 3-11 Southland) home turf on Sunday.
SFA pounded out 16 hits on the night with every starter reaching base at least once, including leadoff man Garrett Smith reaching all six times he came to the plate with a double and three walks, and Riley Huble's second consecutive 4-for-4 day in a conference game. Tanner Hines tied his school record 19-game hit streak with an eighth-inning single while Michael Haynes, Jarid Scarafiotti, Ryan Priest and Bo Coffman all launched homers in the 13-run effort.
Brad Oates earned his first win as a Lumberjack with 2.2 innings in relief of Jared West, and Cory Ochs, Cody Priest and Jason West combined to go the rest of the way.
D. D. Towler was a late substitution to get the start for UTSA, and allowed six runs with five strikeouts and just one walk in 3.1 innings before Mike Pierce eventually got the loss, walking four and allowing three runs in just 1.1 innings.
It did not look as though the game would turn out as it did early on as Towler kept the `Jacks off the scoreboard in the first two frames and was spotted a 4-0 lead after the first, with Casey Selsor delivering a three-run homer to left field to cap the inning.
Michael Haynes trimmed the lead to one in the third with his third homer of the year, a three-run bomb to left off of Towler; however, the `Runners quickly answered with a two-run shot from Jeff Taliaferro in the bottom of the fourth to push the lead back to 6-3.
Oates came on two batters later for Jared Wet and proceeded to retire the first eight batters he faced, and was put in line for the win when the SFA bats came alive in the top of the sixth.
SFA tied it up on the strength of three solo home runs off of Towler, with Scarafiotti delivering the first to lead off the inning. Two batters later Ryan Priest hit a mammoth shot to left field for his team-leading sixth bomb of the year, and Coffman hit his fifth of the season on the very next pitch to left-center.
That was enough to chase Towler from the game, but the SFA bats continued to roar in the seventh with three more runs to take a 9-6 lead. Smith started it with a walk and Scarafiotti reached two batters later, setting up Bobby Loveless' RBI single that gave the `Jacks a 7-6 lead. Priest then dumped a two-run single into the right-center field gap one batter later and just like that SFA had a three-run cushion.
UTSA added an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh, but SFA sent nine more hitters to the plate in the eighth to plate four more. Smith again ignited the rally with a double in front of Hines' only hit of the day, an RBI single through the left side that plated Smith. Scarafiotti then tomahawked a double into the left field corner to score another and make it 11-7. A passed ball plated another SFA run before Coffman drove in his second of the day with a sure single up the middle that scored Loveless from second.
Ryan Dalton added a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth for UTSA and Tyler Carpenter had a RBI single to cut the lead to 13-9, but Cody Priest came on to get a comebacker from Daniel Rockett to quell the rally and then gave way to Jason West in the ninth who struck out one and allowed a pair of hits, but still kept the `Runners off the board to close it.
SFA will go for its second series sweep in conference play on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with Justin Braddock going for the `Jacks. Taylor Walton is tentatively slated to throw for UTSA.