Roadrunners split Friday doubleheader at East Carolina
GREENVILLE, N.C. — Nolan Trabanino went 7.1 innings and allowed one run on four hits to help UTSA salvage a doubleheader split at East Carolina on Friday.
Both the Roadrunners (32-23, 16-13 C-USA) and Pirates (31-24, 15-14 C-USA) clinched spots in next week’s Conference USA Tournament in Hattiesburg, Miss., with their respective wins.
The series will conclude at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Game 1: East Carolina 3, UTSA 2
East Carolina starter Reid Love tossed a complete game allowing no earned runs and striking out four to improve his season record to 5-3.
The left-hander got just enough offensive support early to fend off a late Roadrunners rally. Dylan Brown led off the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
Zach Houchins added to the lead with an RBI double to left field in the fifth inning. Hunter Allen scored on the hit and Drew Reynolds came around as well scoring when the relay throw home was dropped by John Bormann.
UTSA climbed to within one in the next half inning. John Welborn’s single into centerfield was misplayed by Garrett Brooks allowing Logan Kinder to score from first base and Welborn to advance to third base. A batter later Mike Warren tagged a sacrifice fly to center to score Welborn and draw within 3-2.
Love buckled down after Warren’s sac fly retiring the final 11 batters of the game.
Game 2: UTSA 2, East Carolina 1
Behind the pitching of Trabanino and Logan Onda the Roadrunners came back to earn the doubleheader split, 2-1.
The Pirates again took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run in the bottom of the second. This time it was Ian Townsend with the solo shot to right center.
Struggling to find a rhythm at the plate UTSA used a defensive miscue and a pitching mistake to tie the game in the sixth. After back-to-back walks to Horacio Correa III and RJ Perucki opened up the inning Warren attempted to get a sacrifice bunt down the third base line. The bunt attempt was fielded by East Carolina starter Tyler Bolton who threw to third base to get the lead out. After getting the first out, Houchins tried to throw behind Perucki at second base but sailed the throw into right center. With runners on the corners and one out Bolton uncorked a wild pitch allowing UTSA to tie the game, 1-1, without registering a hit in the game.
With the score still tied at one in the top of the eighth inning Perucki laced a one-out double to the right field corner and Warren followed with a single through the left side of the infield to put runners on second and third. Bormann then laid down a squeeze bunt toward second base that popped up but was just out of the reach of reliever Ryan Williams allowing Perucki to score the go-ahead run.
Onda then entered in the bottom of the eighth with one out and induced an inning-ending double play. In the ninth the right-hander walked Houchins with one out but got another double play to end the game and claim his eighth save of the spring.