Late Power Surge Evens Series For SFA
May 8, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas - The Lumberjacks dug themselves an early 6-2 hole, but exploded for 10 runs in its final four outs to pick up a hard-earned 14-9 win over UT-Arlington on Saturday at Clay Gould Ballpark.
SFA (31-13, 17-8 Southland) was down 6-4 to the Mavs' (25-23, 17-8 Southland) Rett Varner, who was cruising with eight strikeouts through 7.2 innings before Bobby Loveless and Bo Coffman each delivered two-out, two-run bombs that put the `Jacks ahead.
The win snapped a nine-game conference win streak for the Mavs and puts the `Jacks back to within 1.5 games of Texas State as the Bobcats dropped a 5-2 decision to McNeese State.
UTA answered with three runs of its own with two outs in its half of the eighth to regain the lead, but the first four Lumberjacks of the ninth reached base, highlighted by Justin Long's first home run of the year, as SFA put a six spot on the board in its final at-bat for the win.
Six Lumberjack pitchers saw the hill for SFA, but it was Jason West that was the beneficiary of the power surge as he ran his record to 4-4 on the season. Varner took a no-decision despite pitching well until the seventh.
SFA had only managed six hits in its first seven frames before going for nine hits in its final two at-bats, including the three home runs. Coffman and Loveless each finished with two hits and three RBI to lead the offense, while Michael Haynes delivered a big day out of the nine-hole with a 3-for-5 effort and a pair of RBI.
A Maverick miscue led to the first SFA run in the top of the second before UTA answered with four runs of its own in its half of the inning off of SFA starter Jared West. Cody Dyvig tied it up at one apiece in that inning, three batters before all-America outfielder Michael Choice delivered his only hit of the series in loud fashion, mashing a three-run bomb off the brag board in right-center field for a 4-1 lead.
Garrett Smith picked up an RBI single to trim the lead in the top of the third, but the Mavs once again answered with a run apiece in both the third and fourth innings for a 6-2 lead.
SFA got two more back in the fifth as Jordan Lewis started the inning with a leadoff double and came in on an RBI single from Haynes. Two batter later Tanner Hines picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to shallow right field with Haynes making a good slide to plate the run.
The teams exchanged zeroes in both the sixth and seventh innings, and after Varner sat down Darren Crabtree and Tanner Hines in the eighth it looked as though the `Jacks would have to do all of their damage in the ninth. But Jarid Scarafiotti hit a two-out double off the left-center field wall, one batter before Loveless hit one off the right-field scoreboard to tie the game at 6-6. Garrett Laird then came in to pitch for the Mavs and hit Ryan Priest in the arm before giving up a first-pitch homer to dead center field to Coffman that gave SFA an 8-6 lead.
Chad Comer and Steffan Guest then tried their hands at late-inning heroics, with each dropping in two-out hits in the eighth that tied and gave the lead back to the Mavs, 9-8 off of relievers Cory Ochs and West.
UTA then went to lefty Brian Watson out of the pen to start the ninth and it was Lewis that gave SFA hope as he tripled into right-center on a 1-1 pitch, one batter before Haynes tied it up with a double down the left-field line. That set the table for Long, who sent a full-count pitch over the center-field fence for a two-run homer, his first of the season, to give the `Jacks an 11-9 lead and all of the momentum.
The teams will conclude the series at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday with Justin Braddock slated to go against Logan Bawcom for the Mavs.