April 21, 2009
HOUSTON, Texas - Richard Folmer became the all-time saves leader at SFA and Zach Gardner came up just a double short of the cycle as the `Jacks knocked off Houston 11-7 at Cougar Field on Tuesday night.
The win is only the third win for SFA (15-23) in recorded history over the Cougars (17-22) and the first time in 18 tries at Cougar Field. The last time SFA defeated the Cougars was in 2006 in Nacogdoches.
Jared Schrom got the win that afternoon at Jaycees Field and picked up his second career win over UH on Tuesday with 5.0 solid innings. He allowed just two runs with a pair of strikeouts as he was one of four Lumberjack pitchers that saw the hill.
But Folmer pitched the `Jacks out of an eighth-inning jam and then threw the final three outs of the ninth, picking up his seventh save of the season but also passing Kyle Standley for first all-time at SFA with 16 career saves. His seven saves this season is currently second in the Southland Conference.
Gardner was the other story, getting hits in his first three at-bats and ended up needing just a double to complete the first cycle in SFA's recorded history. He picked up a home run and a triple in his first two at-bats and then an infield hit in his third at-bat, finishing as one of five Lumberjacks with multiple hits.
Overall the `Jacks finished with 17 hits on the night against Cougar pitching, the eighth straight game SFA has had at least 10 hits. Eight of those hits came off of freshman starter Mo Wiley, who took the loss after giving up six runs in only two innings.
Gardner wasted little time getting the `Jacks on the scoreboard, taking the second pitch of the game out just to the left-field side of the batters eye for his fourth home run of the year - his second dinger in as many games - for a quick 1-0 SFA lead.
After Schrom kept the Cougars off the board in their half of the first, the `Jacks went to work on Wiley in the top of the second. SFA scored five unearned runs off of Wiley, all with two outs starting with Joe Staley's RBI single that scored Bo Coffman. Gardner followed him with a triple off the glove of a diving William Kankel in right field before Tanner Hines brought him in with the first of his three singles on Wiley's first pitch. Sean Meyers then took the very next pitch off the right-field scoreboard for a two-run shot, his fifth long ball of the year.
The Cougars then went to Chase Wright out of the bullpen who shut out the `Jacks through the sixth, with Houston getting on the board in the fifth. Back-to-back singles from Zak Presley and Blake Kelso set the table for a sacrifice fly from Caleb Ramsey and an RBI single from Matt Murphy to cut the lead to 6-2 in Schrom's final inning of work.
Erik Gregersen then came on in the bottom of the sixth and promptly loaded the bases with one out, prompting Johnny Cardenas to call on freshman Jason West. Kelso then cut into the lead with a bloop single in front of Gardner in center field to cut the lead to 6-3, but West got a comebacker from Ramsey to start a double play and get out of the inning with only one run crossing.
SFA then gave West some more breathing room, finally getting to Wright in the top of the seventh. Hines opened with a single and Meyers drew a walk and each moved up a bag on a sacrifice bunt from Brian Ferguson. That was enough to get Wright off the hill, and two batters later Priest came through with the bases loaded, dropping what appeared to be an RBI single in front of Presley in center field; however, Presley played it on a hop and got the force out at third when Meyers was forced to hold up for the second out as Hines crossed the plate. Bo Coffman then put SFA up 8-3 when he lined a single up the middle to score pinch runner Luke Baker from second.
West was solid in relief until the eighth when the Cougars finally got to him for a pair of runs to slice into the lead, but Folmer came on and closed out the inning and kept a runner on third by fanning Murphy and getting Taylor White to ground out.
SFA gave Folmer more room to work with by adding three more runs in the top of the ninth. Luke Baker slapped a single over a shifting infield with runners at first and second to load the bases with nobody out, and two batters later Coffman added his second and third RBI of the evening with a single to left field. He scored one batter later, making it 11-5 when Adam Bosley shot a first-pitch double into the left field corner.
Folmer did allow a two-run shot to Ty Stuckey in the ninth, but the cushion was plenty as the senior sat down the final two Cougars on ground balls to complete the save.
SFA continues Southland Conference play on Friday when it opens up a three-game series with UTA. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. from Jaycees Field, with Erich Lehmann set to get the start.