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Vasquez fans 12, Roadrunners blank Sacred Heart on Friday night

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
Release: 10/29/2009
Courtesy UTSA Athletics Communications
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Senior Steven Vasquez struck out 12 batters in seven shutout innings on Friday night.
SAN ANTONIO Senior right-hander Steven Vasquez shut out Sacred Heart for seven innings while striking out 12 and six Roadrunners had two hits apiece to lead UTSA to an 11-0 victory on Friday night at Wolff Stadium.

The Roadrunners improved to 3-2 in winning for the third time in their last four contests, while the Pioneers were playing their 2008 season opener.

Vasquez (1-1) was dominant in his second start of the season. The Beeville native allowed just six singles, walked none and just missed tying his career high by one punchout. He struck out the side in the first and retired nine of the first 10 hitters he faced, seven of which came by strikeout. Vasquez threw 69 of his 101 pitches for strikes on the night and he picked up his first win since April 21, 2006 (vs. UT Arlington).

Junior righty J.P Holton tossed the final two innings in relief to extend his scoreless innings streak to five to start his UTSA career.

Sophomore designated hitter Tim Palincsar reached base in all five of his plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with UTSA’s first home run of the year, three walks and three runs scored. Meanwhile, junior center fielder Michael Rockett was 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and four runs. Senior Zach Etheredge, juniors Jose Hernandez and James Keithley and freshman Ryan Hutson were the other Roadrunners with two hits on the night.

UTSA jumped to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the first. Keithley led off with a double to right, advanced to third on a fielder’s choice by Rocket and came home on senior first baseman Trent Lockwood’s grounder to shortstop. Hernandez followed with a single to center that plated Rockett with the contest’s second run.

The Roadrunners tacked on two more in the third when Palincsar scored on an error and Rockett came home on a base hit by Etheredge.

The lead grew to seven in the sixth when UTSA plated three more runs on three hits and the fourth error of the game by Sacred Heart. Rockett had the big hit of the frame when he stroked a two-RBI double down the left field line with nobody out.

The Roadrunners crossed the plate four more times in the eighth on five hits to complete the 11-run victory.

Pioneers starter Jared Balbach (0-1) allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits in four innings of work. He walked three and struck out one. First baseman Jeff Hanson led the Sacred Heart offense with three hits.

The series continues with a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday. The first game of the twinbill is slated for seven innings and senior right-hander Bradley Chovanec (1-0, 1.17 ERA) will get the nod for the Roadrunners. Sophomore righty Ryan Proudfoot (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will start the nine-inning nightcap.

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