Eighth-inning comeback sends Roadrunners to 3-2 victory against Louisiana Tech
SAN ANTONIO — UTSA plated two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure a 3-2 victory in the opener of a three-game Conference USA series over Louisiana Tech, Friday night at Roadrunner Field.
John Welborn and Horacio Correa III each scored a run and collected two hits to lead the UTSA (17-9, 4-3 C-USA) offense to the comeback victory.
The Bulldogs (9-15, 3-7 C-USA) manufactured an early 1-0 lead on Tyler Qualls sacrifice fly to center scoring Taylor Love from third. Love led off the game with a single to center.
Correa III knotted the game at one apiece in the bottom of the third bringing home C.J. Pickering from second with a single to right.
Louisiana Tech had the go-ahead run in position to score on two occasions in the middle innings but were thwarted by center fielder Jesse Baker, who threw out both runners at the plate to end the fourth and sixth innings.
In the fourth, Baker scooped a Thomas Simoneaux single and threw out Steven Blanchard attempting to score from second. On the play, catcher John Bormann caught the throw in the first-base batter’s box and dove back across the plate to tag out Blanchard.
Baker’s outfield assist in the sixth came when Colby Johnson attempted to tag from third on a fly ball to center. Baker camped under the ball and sent a strike to Bormann at the plate to beat Johnson by a step.
Louisiana Tech scored the elusive go-ahead run in the seventh on Stephen Gandy’s RBI single to left to pull ahead, 2-1.
UTSA had one rally left in the bottom of the eighth and it proved to be the decisive one. Welborn led off with a hit by pitch and Correa III followed with a hit-and-run single through the left side of the infield to put runners at the corners with no outs. Baker then hit a sharp groundball to Love at shortstop who was unable to field it allowing Welborn to score the game-tying run. Two batters later Mike Warren extended his reached base streak to 20 games with a single up the middle of the infield that was fielded in the outfield grass by the Bulldogs’ second baseman. Warren beat out the throw at first and Correa III crossed home to give the Roadrunners a 3-2 edge.
Matt Sims threw a perfect ninth inning striking out Tyler Ervine to end the game and earn his fourth save of the season.
UTSA starter Brock Hartson was tagged with his fifth no-decision of the season despite allowing just one earned run over six innings with four strikeouts.
The series will continue at 2 p.m. on Saturday.