Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
LAKE CHARLES, La. — UTSA was unable to overcome an early four-run deficit and dropped a 9-3 decision at McNeese State on Saturday at Cowboy Diamond. It marked the fifth consecutive loss for the Roadrunners (22-29, 13-16 SLC).
The Cowboys (26-26, 14-15 SLC) plated a pair of runs in each of the first two innings and knocked out senior starting pitcher Taylor Walton (5-6) after just 1.1 frames.
Freshman Blake Denman came in and worked 5.2 innings of relief, allowing only an unearned run and keeping the Roadrunners within striking distance.
However, a four-run eighth allowed McNeese State to pull away for good.
Matt Click (5-6) gave up a pair of runs on six hits over seven innings of work. He registered a half dozen strikeouts and walked four.
Ryan Sampere came on with a 5-2 lead and pitched the final two stanzas to earn his first save of the year.
Sophomore Daniel Rockett and redshirt freshman RJ Perucki each produced a pair of singles to lead UTSA at the plate.
The Birds, who left nine runners on the basepaths, were turned away in their first scoring chance when junior Casey Selsor was thrown out at home trying to score from second base on a single by Rockett that ended the second inning.
A frame later, UTSA cut the four-run deficit in half after Click unleashed a pair of wild pitches.
After a pair of scoreless innings, the Cowboys increased their advantage to three when Renny Weber scored an unearned run on a Denman wild pitch. Weber then reached third base after sophomore Ryan Dalton snagged a line drive by Nick Eubanks but threw wildly to first while trying for the double play.
UTSA used three pitchers during McNeese State's four-run outburst in the eighth.
Freshman Matt Locus gave up two runs on a walk and a hit, while junior Samuel Cordero yielded a pair of runs on a walk and two hits during the frame. Senior Zach Calhoon came in to record the final out of the panel after forcing Seth Granger to hit into a fielder's choice.
Junior Matthew James hit a two-out double to center in the ninth to plate Perucki to cap the scoring.
The series wraps up at 1 p.m. on Sunday.