Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
LAKE CHARLES, La. — Redshirt freshman RJ Perucki had a career day with four hits and three RBIs and freshman left-hander Michael Kraft hurled six solid innings to lead UTSA to a 12-3 victory at McNeese State on Sunday afternoon.
The Roadrunners (23-29, 14-16 SLC), who snapped a five-game losing streak, led 4-3 after six innings before erupting eight unanswered runs over the final two frames to put the contest out of reach.
"The win was huge for a number of reasons," head coach Sherman Corbett said. "We're trying to get into the conference tournament and we had lost five conference games in a row, so we needed to turn things around."
Kraft (2-3) limited the Cowboys (26-27, 14-16 SLC) to three runs (two earned) on a pair of hits and struck out four for his third quality start of the spring. Junior Cody Scott earned his fourth save after pitching three scoreless stanzas.
"I thought Michael did an outstanding job of throwing strikes," Corbett said. "Going into the game, I thought if he had his stuff, he could neutralize some of their left-handed hitters and he did that."
Kraft held McNeese State's four left-handed bats hitless in 13 combined plate appearances.
Zach Butler (5-4) was saddled with the loss after allowing six runs
(five earned) on seven hits with five walks and four strikeouts over
six-plus innings of work.
Perucki produced run-scoring hits in three of the four innings UTSA plated runs, including an RBI double that started a five-run eighth. Sophomore Ryan Dalton also drove in three runs on a pair of knocks, while sophomore Daniel Rockett was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Rockett hit a line drive in the second that ricocheted off Butler's leg into left field, which allowed both junior Casey Selsor and Dalton to score. Two batters later, Perucki singled into center with two outs to bring home Rockett and give the Birds an early 3-0 lead.
McNeese State capitalized on back-to-back errors by Perucki after Matt Henry hit an run-scoring groundout in the bottom of the frame.
The Roadrunners pushed the lead back to three in the fourth when Perucki bounced a single through the right side to score Rockett, who reached earlier on a fielder's choice.
Two innings later, Lee Orr stroked an RBI double to left center and Nick Eubanks hit a sacrifice fly to center to cut UTSA's lead to one.
UTSA answered with three runs, which included a bases-loaded walk by senior Ryan Hutson and an RBI single by Dalton.
Perucki drove in the first of the Roadrunners' five runs in the eighth on a double to right center off Jordan LeGros. He later scored on freshman Riley Good's single up the middle. After Selsor drove in Good on a single to right center and Hutson drew a walk, Dalton hit a two-run single to left center to cap the scoring.
The Roadrunners will play their final midweek game on Tuesday at Houston (24-27). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.