April 22, 2011
SAN ANTONIO - Lamar was one out away from ending its four-game losing streak and giving head coach Jim Gilligan his 1,200th coaching victory, but UTSA second baseman Matthew James hit a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning on Friday night to give the Roadrunners a dramatic 9-8 Southland Conference baseball victory.
The Cardinals, who are 2-2 on the year in extra inning games, carried a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth only to see UTSA rally for a pair of runs that forced extra innings. Lamar rebounded from the disappointment of not closing the game out in nine innings to score a run in the top of the 10th.
Andrew Dewey, who got the start at second base for the Cards, singled to left with one out in the top of the 10th. After stealing second, Ted Zentek came up with a single through the left side that scored Dewey and gave the Cards an 8-7 lead.
"We really did a good job of staying in that ball game," said Gilligan. "We scrapped to get a run. We did everything we could, but that's the advantage of playing at home in a game like this. That's just a real heartbreaker, but I had a lot of kids who played their hearts out tonight."
The loss dropped the Cardinals to 22-18 on the year and 9-11 in SLC play, while UTSA improved to 18-22 and evened its conference mark at 10-10. The two teams will meet for the final game in the series on Saturday afternoon at 2.
Jason Mohn led off the bottom of the 10th for the Roadrunners with a single off Machon Trimm. R.J. Perucki then sacrificed Mohn to second and Riley Good fouled out down the third base line on an amazing catch by LU shortstop Aaron Buchanan who covered over 100 feet to make a sliding catch.
James then stepped in for UTSA and hit the first offering he saw from Trimm over the left centerfield wall for his fifth home run of the season and the game winner.
Trimm, who fell to 2-2 with the loss, was the fifth Cardinal pitcher on the night. Despite taking the loss, Trimm battled for four innings, allowing six hits and four earned runs.
"Trimm came in and did a great job," said Gilligan. "He was on fumes but I wasn't going to take him out. That was his ball game and you have to just tip your cap. Two innings in a row they did what they needed to do."
After falling behind 5-2 through five innings, the Cardinals evened the game with a three-run sixth. The big blow was a two-run home run for right fielder Jeff Abt, his first as a Cardinal.
Abt, who finished with three hits and four runs batted in, looked as though he would be the hero in the seventh when his two-run double plated Wade Mathis and Joey Latulippe and gave the Cardinals a 7-5 lead that they would take into the ninth.
UTSA moved ahead 5-2 by scoring four runs in the fourth, but the inning ended in exciting fashion. With four runs already in, the Roadrunners put runners on first and second with no outs. UTSA first baseman Ryan Hutson hit a line shot to Buchanan, who caught the ball, stepped on second and threw on to first to complete a triple play for the Cardinals.
Each of Lamar's first four batters picked up a RBI in the game, including Zentek and Kevin Roebuck who each had two of Lamar's 12 hits.
Kevin Clarke (1-4) picked up the win in relief for UTSA, working three and a third innings of two-hit baseball. Clarke allowed just one run while striking out five LU batters.
UTSA, which finished with 15 hits, got two hits from six different batters.