March 28, 2014
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - UTSA scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning for a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Louisiana Tech in the first game of a three-game set Friday night at Roadrunner Field.
LA Tech (9-15, 3-7 C-USA) took a 2-1 lead to the bottom of the eighth inning, but the Roadrunners of UTSA (17-9, 4-3 C-USA) rallied for two runs, one of which was unearned thanks to a Bulldog error in the inning.
Freshman reliever Eric Dunbar (1-1) was charged with the loss after allowing one unearned run in the eighth inning. Dunbar came on in that inning in relief of Phil Maton, who started for Tech and went seven innings, while giving up two runs on five hits with four strikeouts in the outing.
Wesley Cox (5-1) earned the win for the Roadrunners after pitching 1.2 innings of relief in the seventh and eighth innings. Matt Sims (4) received his fourth save of the season after shutting down the Bulldogs in order in the ninth to preserve the win for UTSA. Brock Hartson started and pitched six full innings, giving up one run on seven hits before making way for Logan Onda, who allowed the second run of the game for the Bulldogs after facing just three batters in the seventh.
In the first, Louisiana Tech got off to a fast start after back-to-back singles by Taylor Love and Bre'shon Kimbell to lead off the game. A sacrifice bunt by Colby Johnson put runners on second and third for Tech to set up a sacrifice fly by Tyler Qualls to plate Love and give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead over UTSA.
The score remained in favor of the Bulldogs until the bottom of the third when three consecutive UTSA singles with two outs scored C.J. Pickering and knotted the game at 1-1.
LA Tech scored the go-ahead run in the seventh when the Roadrunners took out their starting pitcher, Hartson, and sent Logan Onda to the mound. Blanchard led off that inning with a walk, followed by a single by Tyler Ervine. Thomas Simoneaux then moved the runners up to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. UTSA then took out Onda after facing three batters and opted for Cox with one out in the inning. Pinch hitter Stephen Gandy knocked home the second run of the game for Tech with an infield single on a 0-2 count to score Blanchard. The Bulldogs threatened to tack on more runs in the seventh, but a double play got the Roadrunners out of the jam.
UTSA's John Welborn was hit by a pitch by Maton to start the eighth, and the Bulldogs then sent Dunbar to the mound to finish out the inning. A single through the left side set up runners on the corners for the Roadrunners. Jesse Baker then hit a double-play ball to shortstop, but an error by Love allowed UTSA to tie the game and the inning to continue with the game tied at 2-2. The Bulldogs turned a double play on the next at bat, but an RBI single up the middle by Mike Warren score one and eventually won the game, 3-2, for UTSA.
Earlier in the game, the Bulldogs had their chances to add an additional run, but Baker threw out two Tech runners at home in both the fourth and sixth innings to keep the game tied.
Both Ervine and Blanchard were 2-for-3 with a walk each on the night for LA Tech, while Gandy and Qualls each had one hit each and knocked home both runs for the Bulldogs in the game. Love, Kimbell and Simoneaux each had singles in the loss, while Johnson had the only extra-base hit of the game for Tech with a double in the sixth.
The Roadrunners were led by Welborn and Horacio Correa, who each had two hits in the contest for UTSA. RJ Perucki, Warren and Pickering also had one hit apiece for the home Roadrunners.
The Bulldogs totaled 10 hits in the loss, while UTSA had seven base knocks on the night.
The series continues at 2 p.m. Saturday at Roadrunner Field with Adam Derouen scheduled to pitch for the Bulldogs. UTSA will counter with left-hander Nolan Trabanino.
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