UTSA rallies past Columbia in series opener, 5-4
SAN ANTONIO — Despite a four-run Columbia second inning, UTSA fought back to score five unanswered runs capped by Mike Warren’s walk-off single in the ninth to take Friday's opening game of this weekend's four-game series, 5-4, at Roadrunner Field.
Six Roadrunners (13-5) had multi-hit games and the UTSA pitching staff held the Lions (4-5) scoreless over the final seven innings to earn the come-from-behind win.
Columbia struck first with a four-run second frame where the Lions batted around and accumulated five hits. Gus Craig launched the opening salvo with two-run double to right center and Mike Fischer delivered a two-run single immediately after to spot the Lions a 4-0 lead.
Meanwhile, UTSA starting pitcher Brock Hartson battled shook off the inning to throw six frames and strike out five, but the right-hander finished with his fourth no-decision of the season.
The Roadrunners' comeback effort got started in the third when Horacio Correa III and John Bormann each tagged RBI singles into left to cut the deficit in half, 4-2.
Correa III and Warren provided the equalizers in the fifth. Correa III drilled a triple to left center to score RJ Perucki from first and Warren plated Correa III a batter later on a sacrifice fly to right.
Each bullpen took turns negating scoring threats in the latter innings with Matt Sims highlighting UTSA’s effort by leaving the go-ahead runner stranded at third base to end the top of the ninth.
That’s when the top of the UTSA batting order came alive.
John Welborn led off the home half of the ninth with a walk and Jesse Baker knocked a single to left to put runners at first and second with no outs. Perucki then dropped down a sacrifice bunt down the third-base line to move Welborn and Baker into scoring position. Following an intentional walk to Correa III that loaded the bases, Warren ripped the second pitch he saw from Zack Tax into left field for the game-winner.
Baker finished the night 3-for-4 with a walk and Correa III reached base three times with a walk and a 2-for-4 night at the plate.
The series will continue on Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader.