April 16, 2011
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - The Lumberjack offense picked up right where it left off after Friday's run-rule victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Chrsiti, putting up 18 runs in the final five innings to blast the Islanders 18-8 in seven innings to secure at least a series win for the weekend on Saturday at Chapman Field.
For the second straight day, SFA (25-11, 12-5 SLC) pounded out 17 hits as a team, and after a rough start for Tyler Herriage, Chase Wier made the first relief appearance for the `Jacks on the weekend and threw a hitless final three frames to shut the door on the TAMUCC (22-17, 7-10 SLC) chances.
With the win, along with Texas State's 4-0 win over Southeastern Louisiana, the `Jacks remain in a tie with the Bobcats for first place in the Southland Conference. The Islanders have now dropped seven of their last eight contests.
It was also the first time since 2007 that the Lumberjacks have posted consecutive run-rule victories.
All nine SFA starters reached base at least twice with Bryson Myles finishing with a 4-for-5 day that left him just a homer short of the cycle and included a steal, two RBI and four runs scored. Six other Lumberjacks finished with two hits apiece, with Jarid Scarafiotti and Darren Crabtree driving in a team-high four runs apiece in the effort.
Wier earned his first win as a `Jack, striking out five of the 10 batters he faced in his three innings of relief with the only runner of the day reaching base on an error. He was the first reliever SFA has been forced to use in the series, while the Islanders have been forced to fetch seven different relievers from its bullpen.
The Islanders had staked freshman starter Justin Meza to a 5-0 lead after a homer from Trey Hernandez in the first off of SFA starter Tyler Herriage, and a three-run second inning. But after stranding three runners in the first two frames, the `Jacks quickly evened things up with five runs in the third and never stopped scoring the rest of the afternoon. Meza finished by allowing eight runs on nine hits in just 3.1 innings, but it was reliever Brett Carnline that took the loss in falling to 5-4 on the year after allowing four runs in just an inning of relief work.
It was back-to-back triples from Myles and Garrett Smith in to lead off the third inning that finally got the `Jacks on the board off of Meza. An RBI single from Scarafiotti followed that, and three batters later Hunter Dozier pulled SFA back to within 5-4 with a two-run double off the left-field wall for the first of his two hits on the day. Bryce Cummings then tied it up with a sure single up the middle.
After Herriage tossed a shutdown third, Scarafiotti gave the `Jacks their first lead of the day in the top of the fourth when he launched a first-pitch homer over the left-center field fence to bring in three runs and put SFA out in front 8-5.
But that lead was short-lived as the Islanders responded with three two-out runs in the bottom of the fourth, including a two-run double from Weston Montgomery to tie things back up at 8-8 heading into the fifth.
However, it did not take long for SFA to get to Carnline in the next half inning, loading the bases with one out for Smith, who broke the tie when the first pitch hit his jersey and forced in Cummings. Crabtree followed that with a two-run double into the right field-corner and a wild pitch scored another to give the `Jacks a 12-8 lead it would not give back.
Wier then entered to start the fifth and after needing just 10 pitches to work through his first three Islander hitters, got five more runs of insurance in the sixth with RBI hits from Myles and Crabtree, along with a wild pitch and a pair of Islander errors to put SFA in position for the mercy-rule win.
One inning later, Myles gave the `Jacks the 10-run advantage it was looking for with an RBI ground-rule double that hopped over the left-center field fence. Wier then sandwiched a pair of grounders around his fifth strikeout of the day in working a perfect seventh inning to close it out.
The `Jacks will go for their third sweep of the SLC season on Sunday when they take on the Islanders in a 1:00 p.m. contest. Zack Taylor is scheduled to get the ball for SFA against an Islander starter who is yet to be announced.