SFA Goes Extras To Take Down UCA
May 11, 2013
CONWAY, Ark. - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning to outlast Central Arkansas for a 9-7 win to even the series on Saturday at Bear Stadium.
The `Jacks (26-25, 13-10) out-hit the Bears (33-15, 12-11 SLC) 16-9 on the day and clinched a berth in the Southland Conference Tournament with the win. SFA got two RBI apiece from Rene' Moreda, Hunter Dozier, Max Lamantia and Jackson Hood, while Brett Higginbotham and Cass Ingvardsen combined to keep the Bears off the scoreboard for the final 4.1 innings of play.
Higginbotham got the win, going to 4-2 on the year with 3.0 innings of relief, while Clint Green fell to 2-2 on the year for the Bears after allowing the winning runs in the 10th after 3.0 scoreless innings of his own.
Every Lumberjack with an at-bat got at least one hit, and five `Jacks finished with at least two hits apiece, led by three-hit games from both Ricardo Sanchez and Hood. Hunter Dozier and Zach Benson each hit a home run to add to SFA's league-leading total.
Meanwhile, Ethan Harris led the Bear offense, driving in four runs on a pair of hits, including his third home run of the season. He was one of four Bears with a pair of base knocks.
For the second consecutive game SFA staked itself to a 1-0 lead in the first inning before quickly giving up the lead in the bottom of the frame. Benson hit a one-out solo home run off of UCA starter Jeffrey Enloe in the top of the first, but a pair of singles by Forrestt Allday and Jonathan Davis opened the bottom half of the inning for the Bears. One batter later, Harris lined a double into the right-field corner to score both and put UCA up 2-1.
But that deficit did not last long as Moreda returned the lead to SFA in the top of the second, lining a two-run, two-out single to center field to score Sanchez and Lamantia. One inning later SFA added two more on a two-run home run from Dozier, his 16th homer of the season, upping the lead to 5-2.
Harris struck again in the bottom of the third, answering Dozier's two-run homer with a two-run shot of his own, launching Cross' first pitch to him out to right-field for his third homer of the year to cut the lead back to 5-4.
Two innings later the Bears tied it up at 5-5 on a two-out RBI single from Blake Marchal that scored Justin Treece from second base after he had reached on a leadoff single.
The scoring frenzy continued in the sixth when a one-out walk to Joseph Olson and a single from Sanchez set things up for Lamantia and Jackson Hood, with each delivering RBI hits to put the `Jacks back up 7-5; however, SFA could not hold the lead in the bottom of the inning. Justin Treece got a run home after a walk and an error on an RBI ground out, and Davis tied it up with an RBI single off of SFA starting pitcher Kyle Cross.
Ingvardsen cleaned things up in the sixth and then left the go-ahead run stranded at third in the seventh. SFA threatened to take the lead in its half of the eighth, but reliever Clint Green got Moreda to fly out to end the inning with the go-ahead run at third base as well.
Higginbotham then left the go-ahead runner on third in the eighth, then worked around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth, striking out Treece with the winning run in scoring position to send the game to extra frames.
Once the game got to extra innings the `Jacks quickly went to work when Mackenzie Handel singled up the middle to start the inning. Joseph Olson then reached on a bunt single and two batters later Lamantia put SFA back in front 8-7 on a sacrifice fly that scored pinch runner Matthew Dickey. Hood followed that by adding an insurance run on a single up the middle, which was enough for Higginbotham, who allowed just a two-out walk to Harris before getting Marchal to pop out to end the game.
SFA will go for the series win on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. behind starter Justin Choate. He'll be opposed by UCA right-hander Bryce Biggerstaff.