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Courtesy: Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTSA clinches berth in Southland Conference Tournament on Friday night

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
Release: 05/25/2011
Courtesy UTSA Athletics Communications
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SAN ANTONIO — UTSA erased a four-run deficit and held on for an 8-7 victory against Central Arkansas on Friday night at Roadrunner Field to clinch a berth in next week's Southland Conference Tournament.

The Roadrunners (26-29, 16-16 SLC) trailed 5-1 after the Bears scored three times in the third inning.

However, senior Tyler Carpenter's three-run home run in the bottom of the frame cut the lead to one and redshirt freshman RJ Perucki's two-run single in the sixth put UTSA in front for good.

After getting an insurance run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Ryan Dalton, the Birds were forced to shut down an eighth-inning rally by the Bears (23-29, 12-20 SLC).

Jake Fuller, who plated a run earlier in the panel, hit a one-out double to left center that scored Logan Moon. UCA head coach Allen Gum also waved in Prevett, who was attempting to score from first base, but he was cut down at the plate after Perucki relayed a throw from freshman Riley Good.

Freshman Blake Denman (3-2) earned the win after hurling five-plus innings out of the bullpen. After coming on with the bases loaded and nobody out in the third, he gave up a run-scoring single before settling in. Denman then struck out Kyle Prevett and induced a double play grouner off the bat of Jonathan Davis to limit the damage.

"Blake was huge for us," Corbett said. "He put up zeros in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings and gave us a chance to get back into the ballgame."

The Bellaire native allowed two runs on four hits and struck out a pair.

Senior Kevin Clarke fanned two of the three hitters he faced in the ninth to pick up his fourth save of the year.

Sophomore Daniel Rockett paced UTSA's 16-hit attack with a 3-for-4 performance. Carpenter finished 2-for-3 with his fifth homer of the spring and three RBIs, while Perucki added two hits and a pair of RBIs.

Andy Steinmetz (1-4) surrendered a pair of runs during the decisive sixth inning.

The series wraps up at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

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