SFA Caps Comeback With Walk-Off Win Over UTA
May 1, 2011
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - After being down by as much as a 10-1 deficit, the Lumberjacks stormed all the way back and took a 13-12 win over UT-Arlington on a walk-off sacrifice fly from Michael Haynes in the bottom of the 10th inning to win the series from the Mavericks on Sunday at Jaycees Field.
The win gives SFA (30-13, 17-7 SLC) its third consecutive series win in conference play and its fifth straight regular-season series win over UT-Arlington (24-20, 13-11 SLC) since 2007. Bryson Myles finished the day 4-for-6 at the plate with a homer, four RBI and three runs scored in helping the `Jacks overcome four defensive blunders that led to seven unearned runs for the Mavs. It was also the sixth win in seven extra-inning affairs on the season for SFA.
Myles' swipe of second base in the ninth inning with two away got him in scoring position for Garrett Smith's game-tying hit, but also was his 40th steal of the season making him the first Southland Conference player since 1997 with 40 steals in a season.
The `Jacks managed to score in four of the last five innings of the game to come all the way back, tying the game up in both the eighth and ninth innings with two outs before Haynes' game-winning RBI in the 10th. Jackson Hood and Max Lamantia each finished with three hits apiece for the `Jacks as part of a 17-hit outburst at the plate against five UTA hurlers.
Jason West ran his record to 4-1 with the win, striking out three in 1.2 scoreless innings of relief; however, it was Brad Oates who proved to be the vital stopgap out of the SFA bullpen, entering the game in the sixth inning and allowing just two singles in putting up three straight zeros on the scoreboard, giving the Lumberjack offense an opportunity to climb back into the game.
Brody Walker fell to 2-1 with the loss for the Mavs, allowing the winning run in the 10th. Each of UTA's first four runs in the second inning went as unearned against SFA starter Zack Taylor with a Lumberjack error setting up a big inning for the Mavs. Leadoff man Ryan Walker lined a three-run double down the left-field line with two outs to open up the scoring, and came home one batter later on an RBI double from Michael Guerra.
The Mavs then squeezed home another run in the third to push lead to 5-0 before the `Jacks got one back on a run-scoring ground ball from Smith in the bottom of the inning.
UTA then broke it open in the fourth inning with five runs off of a pair of Lumberjack relievers. It only took three hits for the Mavs to piece together the inning as a pair of SFA errors aided the cause. The Mavs sent nine hitters to the plate in the inning to open up a 10-1 advantage.
But that's when the `Jacks began to inch back into the game, beginning with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth off of UTA starter Collin Reynolds to get back to 10-3. The Mavs answered with an RBI single from Brian Nephew one inning later, but the `Jacks had plenty of offense left in reserve.
The `Jacks used a five-run sixth inning to get back into the ballgame with a leadoff single from Hood and a one-out double from Lamantia to set up Hunter Dozier, who smacked a single into left field to plate both runs and drive Reynolds from the hill. Bryce Cummings followed that with the first of his two singles on the day and two batters later Myles blasted the first pitch from Michael Oberto over the left-field fence for a three-run homer that cut the lead in half and pulled the `Jacks within three runs at 11-8.
After Oates set down the Mavs in order in the seventh and eighth, the `Jacks squared things all the way back up with three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Once again, SFA did its damage with two outs with Hood lining a single to left-center field with the bases loaded to pull SFA back to within a single run. Then, with the tying run on third base, the Mavs committed their only defensive error of the game when first baseman Jordan Vaughn dropped the ball on a potential third out on a grounder to third by Jarid Scarafiotti that allowed Darren Crabtree to score and tie the ballgame.
But that tie was short-lived as UTA was able to scratch across the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth on an RBI single from Walker, who finished the day 4-for-5 with four RBI for the Mavs.
Still, the `Jacks were able to use their speed in the ninth to send it into extra innings. Jordan Lewis started it off when he reached on a one-out infield hit off of reliever Michael Morales, but he traded places with Myles one batter later when Myles hit into a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning. After that, Myles successfully swiped second base to set up Smith, who socked a 2-1 pitch into left field. The `Jacks sent Myles all the way around, and despite a good throw from left fielder Nick Orr, UTA catcher Chad Comer could not hang on to the ball and allowed Myles to score the tying run.
In the 10th, West struck out two of the last three hitters of the inning to keep the Mavs off the board before Hood gave the `Jacks life at the plate with a leadoff single off of Walker in the bottom of the inning. After a sacrifice bunt from Scarafiotti and an intentional walk to Lamantia, Haynes came to the plate with the winning run at second base.
Walker didn't help his cause when he uncorked a wild pitch on an 0-2 count that allowed the runners to advance and four pitches later Haynes lifted a fly ball to deep center field that was plenty deep enough for Hood to score the winning run from third without a play at the plate.
SFA goes on the road for a midweek battle with Rice on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Reckling Park before coming home for a three-game series with Piney Woods rival Sam Houston State beginning Friday at Jaycees Field.