SFA Closes Regular Season With Win
May 18, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks erupted for five runs in the bottom of the sixth and got six shutout innings from Justin Choate in a 6-1 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the regular-season finale for both teams on Saturday at Jaycees Field.
The win, along with wins by Southeastern Louisiana and Lamar, gives SFA (28-27, 15-12 SLC) the No. 6 seed in next week's Southland Conference Tournament for the second straight year. SFA will take on No. 3 Oral Roberts at 9:00 a.m. at Constellation Field in Sugar Land in the opening round. The Lumberjacks swept ORU in the team's regular season series earlier in the year in Nacogdoches.
Choate continued his strong pitching, upping his record to 5-2 with the win and shutting out the Islanders (32-22, 17-10 SLC) on just one hit before the bullpen tandem of Cass Ingvardsen and Brett Higginbotham carried it the remaining three frames. The senior from Hooks struck out six and walked just one.
In addition to Choate, Islander starter Matt Danton hurled five shutout innings of his own before being removed for the bullpen. Adam Hoelscher took the loss for TAMUCC, falling to 2-4 on the year after allowing three runs without recording an out to start the five-run sixth.
Zach Benson led SFA with a 3-for-5 day, while Hunter Dozier,Michael Ruiz and Jackson Hood had two hits apiece. Ruiz, who got his second consecutive start, was one of six `Jacks to register an RBI on a day in which all but one Lumberjack with a plate appearance either reached base or drove in a run.
Danton and Choate had dueling shutouts through five frames before the `Jacks broke through against Hoelscher in the sixth. A single from Dozier was followed by Hoelscher hitting Mackenzie Handel with a pitch and walking Joseph Olson. An RBI fielder's choice from Ricardo Sanchez followed, before Max Lamantia and Ruiz each drove in runs with RBI singles off of reliever Franco Pace. An run-scoring ground out from Jackson Hood made it 4-0, and a hard single up the middle from Rene' Moreda one batter later capped the inning by scoring Ruiz from second.
The Islanders got a run back in the top of the seventh on a RBI single from Brad Porras, but it was immediately answered by the `Jacks in the bottom half when Dozier led off with a single and came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Zach Marberry.
Ingvardsen proceeded to set TAMUCC down in order in the eighth before Higginbotham shut the door in the ninth with three ground balls to second base.
SFA also honored its 11-member senior class before the game, a class which consisted of: Justin Choate, Cass Ingvardsen, Chase Greening, Cory Maltz, Jordon Lenaburg,>Zach Benson, Freddy Villalobos, Brett Higginbotham, Rene' Moreda, Cody Priest and Jackson Hood.