SFA Climbs Back Into League Lead With Win Over UTA
April 30, 2011
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - A day after falling out of first place in the Southland Conference, the Lumberjack baseball team climbed back to the top of the league with a 10-2 win over UTA-Arlington on Saturday at Jaycees Field.
The `Jacks (29-13, 16-7 SLC) got four runs in the fourth and added five more in the eighth to even the series with the Mavericks (25-19, 13-10 SLC) with one game in the series left to play. With Texas State's loss to McNeese State in San Marcos, the `Jacks now once again stand in a first-place tie with the Bobcats on top of the SLC, three games clear of the rest of the field.
Less than 24 hours after burning through five pitchers in Friday's 16-inning affair, SFA needed just two arms on Saturday with starter Tyler Herriage getting his second win of the year with six solid innings before giving way to Landon Kozeny, who fanned five Mavericks in three scoreless innings of relief to earn his first save of his career.
UTA starter Calan Pritchard took the loss for the Mavs, allowing five runs in just 3.2 innings on the mound to fall to 3-3 on the year.
SFA got a 3-for-4 day with two RBI and a stolen base from leadoff man Bryson Myles, who took sole possession of the SFA all-time stolen base mark with his 39th steal of the year in the first inning. Garrett Smith also went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Darren Crabtree finished with a team-best three RBI as well.
Myles opened things up for the `Jacks in the first inning with a leadoff single and after swiping second and an infield hit from Smith, found himself on third with nobody out. Crabtree then gave Herriage an early 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to left field.
But the `Jacks couldn't get more than that on the board as Pritchard got SFA to ground into inning-ending double plays in each of the first three innings. Meanwhile, Herriage used solid defense behind him to cruise through the first two innings before the Mavs evened things up at 1-1 in the third when Philip Incaviglia scored from second on a Lumberjack fielding miscue.
Two innings later the `Jacks broke things open with a four-run fourth inning, sending 10 hitters to the plate against Pritchard and reliever Kasey Merck. Jackson Hood and Max Lamantia started the rally by reaching on a single and a walk, and two batters later Justin McAninch grounded a single through the right side of the infield to put SFA out in front, 2-1. An error from Mavs' third baseman Brian Nephew then aided the rally, loading the bases for Myles, who greeted Merck by shooting a 3-1 pitch back up the middle for two more runs. Crabtree picked up another RBI two batters later when Merck hit him with the bases loaded, and the `Jacks closed out the frame with a solid 5-1 lead.
UTA got a run back in the sixth on another Lumberjack error, and looked like it was going to add on more with runners on second and third with just one out. But Herriage got Incaviglia to fly to center and Ryan Walker to pop out to shortstop to end his day and kill the rally.
Kozeny then entered to start the seventh, striking out two hitters in his first two innings before the Lumberjacks iced the game away with five more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Once again SFA sent 10 hitters to the plate, and got an RBI single from Bryce Cummings to open the scoring . Lewis followed that by chopping an RBI double down the left-field line, two batters before Smith delivered the final big blow of the inning with a two-run single to right field.
A UTA error helped SFA push across one more run, which was more than enough for Kozeny to work with in the ninth. The junior right-hander went on to strike out the side in the ninth for his first career save, sparing the rest of the bullpen for Sunday's finale.
The `Jacks will try and take its third consecutive series in the league on Sunday with Zack Taylor set to go for SFA in the 1:00 p.m. game. A starter for the Mavs has yet to be declared.