Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
SAN MARCOS — No. 6 seed UTSA scored the opening run in the third inning, but second-seeded Stephen F. Austin plated seven unanswered runs and went on to record a 7-1 victory on Thursday evening in a winners bracket contest at the Southland Conference Tournament.
The Roadrunners (27-31) will face No. 3 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (35-23) in an elimination game at 9 a.m. on Friday. UTSA is perfect 4-0 against the Islanders this season, including an opening-round, 10-inning 3-2 win in Wednesday's tournament opener. In fact, the Birds have won six of the last seven meetings between the two teams.
"We have to come ready to play tomorrow," 11th-year head coach Sherman Corbett said. "We're going to have to play a better baseball game than we did today."
UTSA squandered several early chances by leaving runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings, including the bases loaded in the second. The Roadrunners' lone run came after the Lumberjacks (35-22) committed three errors in the third.
The Birds took a 1-0 lead when sophomore Ryan Dalton brought home senior
Tyler Carpenter with a one-out grounder to short that was misplayed by
"We had guys on base in each of the first three innings and the opportunity to do some damage, but we weren't able to hit with guys in scoring position," Corbett said. "From that point on, we got really flat and couldn't get any momentum on our side."
Following the third, UTSA managed just four singles and were unsuccessful in advancing past first base.
Freshman Riley Good was thrown out at second base in the seventh after attempting to stretch a base hit into a double.
Stephen F. Austin, which remained unbeaten in bracket play, rapped out 18 hits on the day. Jarid Scarafiotti was 3-for-6 with a two-run home run and three RBIs to lead the way.
Chase Wier (3-1), making just his second start of the year, limited the
Roadrunners to one run on five hits in 5.1 frames of work.
Senior right-hander Taylor Walton (6-7) struck out a career-high six batters but gave up four runs on eight hits over his 4.2 innings.
The Lumberjacks responded by loading the bases on three consecutive hits to start the fourth and Riley Huble's one-out single into center tied the contest. Bryce Cummings followed with a sacrifice fly to left center, which gave SFA what proved to be an insurmountable 2-1 edge.
Scarafiotti lined a two-run bomb to left in the fifth to stretch advantage to three. The Lumberjacks tacked on their fifth tally in the seventh when Scarafiotti scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Huble and back-to-back run-scoring singles in the eighth capped the scoring.
The winner of Friday's UTSA/Texas A&M-Corpus Christi matchup will play Stephen F. Austin later in the day at 4 p.m.