April 23, 2010
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Jarid Scarfiotti hit a walk-off single off the wall with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 12th inning to give SFA a 2-1 comeback win over McNeese State on Friday at Jaycees Field.
SFA (25-11, 12-6 Southland) trailed 1-0 entering the ninth inning, only mustering five hits off of McNeese (20-17, 10-9 Southland) starter Dustin Lloyd, but the `Jacks pounded out eight singles in the final four innings to not only tie the game in the ninth, but win it in extra innings.
It was the longest game played by SFA since a 6-5 loss to UTSA in 2006, and the first time in nine tries that SFA has won a game when trailing entering the ninth inning.
Scarafiotti's hit was one of three on the day for him as he, Bo Coffman and Tanner Hines all finished with three hits. Hines extended his hit streak to 24 games with a trio of infield singles, while Coffman's second hit may have been the most important as his one-out single in the bottom of the ninth off of Lloyd drove in the tying run and kept SFA's hopes of a win alive.
The Cowboys only managed four hits - all singles - off of SFA pitchers Tyler Herriage, Brad Oates and Jason West, but still managed to strand 13 runners on the day thanks to a bevy of walks issued. The majority of those free passes came from Herriage, who despite only holding the Cowboys to a run on one hit in 5.2 innings, struggled with his control throughout the day and issued a season-high eight walks.
Oates kept the `Jacks in the game with 3.1 innings of relief before Jason West threw the final 3.0 innings to earn his second win of the season.
Lloyd was outstanding for the Cowboys, throwing 9.0 innings with five strikeouts and just one intentional walk, but did not factor in the decision. Reliever Matt Click took his third loss of the year, allowing just one unearned run with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings of relief.
Herriage started off with a perfect first inning on the mound for SFA, and kept the Cowboys off the scoreboard despite issuing at least walk in each of the first four innings of the game. That all came to a halt in the bottom of the fifth when McNeese was able to take advantage of a leadoff walk by Blake Ellender for its first run of the day. A sacrifice bunt and a walk followed before Seth Granger pokes a single into center field for the first hit of the day for the Cowboys, one that plated Ellender from second to put the Cowboys on top.
Meanwhile Lloyd was doing his part by keeping SFA off the scoreboard, at one point retiring 10 straight hitters and not allowing a runner to advance past second base until the bottom of the ninth.
It looked as though Lloyd would pull off his second complete game as he went out to start the ninth, but consecutive infield singles from Hines and Scarafiotti quickly gave the `Jacks their best scoring opportunity of the day. After a sacrifice bunt Lloyd intentionally walked Ryan Priest to load the bases in front of Coffman, who pulled the first pitch he saw through the left side of the infield. Hines scored easily to tie the game, but Lee Orr kept the Cowboys alive by throwing Scarafiotti out at the plate on the play.
SFA managed to put two-out runners on base in both the 10th and 11th innings, but could not push anyone across until the 12th. The `Jacks got a nice defensive play from Michael Haynes and Riley Huble in the top of the inning that quieted a Cowboy rally, giving SFA a chance in the bottom of the frame to score the win.
A Cowboy miscue gave SFA the opportunity it needed as Riley Huble led off by reaching on an error on third baseman Steven Irvine, but Jordan Lewis could not advance the runner on a bunt try and Haynes flied out, turning over the lineup for SFA with two down. Garrett Smith then shot a single the first baseman's glove and Tanner Hines singled deep into the hole in the left side of the infield to load the bases. Scarafiotti then went after Click's first pitch and nearly put it over the wall, slamming the ball off the fence for the walk-off hit.
SFA will look to clinch its third series in a row on Saturday with a scheduled 2:00 p.m. start against the Cowboys. Jared West is slated to go for the `Jacks, while McNeese has yet to determine a starter.