May 28, 2005
NATCHITOCHES, La. - Aaron Rodriguez pitched a complete-game to lead Texas-San Antonio to a 4-1 win over Lamar to capture the 2005 Southland Conference Tournament championship Saturday afternoon at Brown-Stroud Field.
Lamar finishes the season with a 38-23 record. UTSA improved to 27-32 and receives the SLC's automatic bid to an NCAA Regional Tournament. The NCAA Tournament selection show is Monday morning at 11 a.m. CDT on ESPN2.
The Cardinals, who committed just one error in the previous four tournament games, committed three on Saturday. All four of UTSA's runs were unearned.
Junior William Delage pitched well enough to get a win for the Cardinals, but the offense could only muster one run on four hits. A Nederland native, Delage pitched six and two-third innings, allowing four unearned runs on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
"Delage was magnificent," said Lamar coach Jim Gilligan. "He gave us everything he had today. However, he was matched by Rodriguez. They (UTSA) made some great defensive plays behind him today, as did our defense.
"I'm proud of the way we played today. The guys left it all on the field, and that's all you can ask of them. This was a great ball game; unfortunately it didn't go our way."
UTSA, who won the last SLC Tournament hosted by Northwestern State in 1994, started the scoring with a run in the top of the first inning. Ryan Crew, who was named tournament MVP, reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a throwing error by Jeremy Gray at second base. Stephen Holdren reached on an error by first baseman Jo Jo Haney. Chris Lewis singled to center field to drive in Crew with the game's first run.
The Roadrunners added another run in the sixth inning to extend their lead to 2-0. J.R. Voyles reached on a throwing error by shortstop Colt Crawford. Crew, who was 2-for-4 with three RBI, followed with an RBI double to left center field.
Lamar had chances to score in the fourth and fifth innings. Crawford, who was 1-for-4, singled to left field with one out in the fourth and was left stranded. Collin Delome
, who was named to the all-tournament team, led off the fifth with a single. He moved to second on a sacrifice by Gray, but was left stranded at third.
The Cardinals broke through for a run in the home half of the sixth inning. Chase Richards, who was named to the all-tournament team, led off the inning with a double down the left field line. He moved to third on a ground out by Matt Lambeth and scored on Michael Ambort's RBI ground out.
UTSA struck for two more in the top of the seventh inning. Ryan Saltzgaber struck out with two outs, but reached first on a passed ball. Sean Danielson and Voyles both walked to load the bases.
Allen Harrington was brought on in relief of Delage. Crew delivered a 2-run single to left field to push the Roadrunners lead to 4-1.
Ambort, who was named to the all-tournament team, tried to start a rally with a one-out single to center field in the bottom of the ninth inning. Adrian Cantu grounded out to first base and DeLome lined out to left field on a sliding catch by Michael McKennon to end the game.
Rodriguez (8-5), who also picked up a win against Lamar during the regular season series, allowed one run on four hits with one strikeout and no walks in nine innings pitched. He retired the first 10 batters to start the game.
2005 Southland Conference All-Tournament Team
C - Michael Ambort, Lamar University
1B - Lee Todesco, Texas-San Antonio
2B - J.R. Voyles, Texas-San Antonio
3B - Daniel Macha, Texas-Arlington
SS - Ryan Crew, Texas-San Antonio
DH - Stephen Holdren, Texas-San Antonio
OF - Collin Delome, Lamar University
OF - Chase Richards, Lamar University
OF - Sean Danielson, Texas-San Antonio
P - Bernard Robert, Southeastern Louisiana
P - Aaron Rodriguez, Texas-San Antonio
MVP - Ryan Crew, Texas-San Antonio