SFA Stays Alive With Walk-Off Win
May 25, 2012
SAN MARCOS, Texas - Pinch hitter Jordon Lenaburghit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to propel Stephen F. Austin to a 4-3 win over Southeastern Louisiana in the Southland Conference Tournament on Friday to force an if-necessary game on Saturday against the Lions.
The `Jacks (26-32) were able to erase a 3-0 lead after the first three innings, holding the Lions (38-20) off the board for the remaining six frames and stranding 10 SLU runners on base to give them a chance in the ninth.
Max Lamantia finished with two hits and two RBI to lead the offense and Chase Greening rebounded from a rough start to fire off five solid innings in his second start since Wednesday. Cory Ochs bridged the gap with three scoreless innings of relief, while Colton Eubanksgot the win with a scoreless ninth to move to 6-5 on the season.
Jason Greenleaf was solid for the Lions with five innings of relief of starter Josh Janway, but allowed a pair of runs, including the winning run to take the loss and fall to 3-2 on the year.
With the win SFA will now take on Southeastern once again on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. with the winner advancing to the tournament championship game at 5:00 p.m. vs UT Arlington who moved on with a walk-off win of their own earlier in the day over top-seeded Sam Houston State.
Lenaburg's hit came on the first pitch he saw from reliever Matt Pittari, scoring Freddy Villalobosfrom third after he had reached on a leadoff infield hit.
Greening was his own worst enemy in the opening frame, sandwiching a pair of hit batters around a poor throw on an attempted sacrifice bunt to load the bases before uncorking a wild pitch to score Harry Slade with the first Lion run of the game. Cody Gougler then gave SLU a 2-0 lead with a routine grounder to shortstop.
Two innings later the Lions used some good fortune and aggressive base running to plate another run using two infield hits and a blooper to score Brock Hebert, who scored from second on an infield hit with two outs to push the lead to 3-0.
Meanwhile, Janway retired the first 10 hitters he faced to start the game before issuing consecutive walks to Hunter Dozier and Bobby Loveless with one out in the fourth. Max Lamantia and Jarid Scarafiottithen followed with back-to-back RBI singles, cutting the lead to 3-2 before SLU turned to reliever Jason Greenleaf who proceeded to retire the next two hitters to end the frame.
Greening kept the Lions off the board again in the next inning and Ochs came in to do the same in the sixth, giving the SFA chance to knot the game. Loveless then did his part to open the sixth, tripling off the center field wall to extend his hit streak to 15 games and scored the tying run one batter later on a sacrifice fly from Lamantia.
From there Ochs was solid, throwing strikes and allowing just two base runners in his three innings. Meanwhile, Greenleaf matched him before Villalobos' single to open the inning eventually spelled trouble for the Lions. Michael Ruizentered and executed a bunt to move the runner up and Villalobos reached third one batter later on an error on shortstop Ben Hernandez. Lenaburg then came to the plate and shot the first pitch he saw through the right side of the infield to send SFA to Saturday.
The `Jacks will likely throw Eubanks in the start on Saturday against the Lions against a SLU starter to be determined. Each game on Saturday will be aired on ESPN 3 with Chris Mycoskie on play-by-play and former MLB pitcher Greg Swindell on commentary.