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Early Bird

UTSA rides right arm of Vasquez to 9-1 victory against Stephen F. Austin on Friday

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
Release: 10/29/2009
Courtesy UTSA Athletics Communications
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Senior Steven Vasquez won his SLC-leading seventh game of the year on Friday.
SAN ANTONIO UTSA scored four runs with two outs in the first and senior right-hander Steven Vasquez tossed eight strong innings, as the Roadrunners posted a 9-1 victory against Stephen F. Austin in Southland Conference action on Friday at Roadrunner Field.

UTSA, which won its fifth SLC series opener in six tries this year, improved to 26-12 overall and 12-4 in league play. Playing at home for the first time since March 30, the Roadrunners maintained their one-game advantage in the conference standings, as Lamar and Texas State both were victorious on Friday night. The Lumberjacks, meanwhile, dropped their fifth contest in a row to fall to 14-22 and 3-12 in league play.

Vasquez (7-2) retired the first seven SFA hitters he faced (11 of the first 13 overall) and never looked back.

The Beeville native allowed one run on just six singles and struck out eight in picking up his conference-best seventh victory of the year. He also won the 20th game of his four-year career and moved into a second-place tie on the program's all-time list. Vasquez now has posted a 1.10 ERA and fanned 30 in his last 32.2 innings (a span of five contests).

Junior shortstop James Keithley went 2-for-5 to extend his school-record hitting streak to 25 games and he also scored two times. Junior outfielders Michael Rockett and Aaron Powell both added a pair of hits and senior catcher Zach Etheredge and Powell brought home two runs apiece.

The Birds got things going early, as sophomore Tim Palincsar drew a one-out walk in the first and moved to second on a balk by SFA starter Erik Gregerson. A Rockett ground out to second moved Palincsar to third and senior first baseman Trent Lockwood then drew a free pass to put runners on the corners. Powell followed with an infield single that plated Palincsar with the game's first run. A walk to freshman right fielder Tyler Carpenter loaded the bases and an Etheredge base hit through the let side of the infield pushed the lead to three. Sophomore third baseman Ryan Rummel then stroked a run-scoring single through the right side to bring home Carpenter with the fourth and final run of the frame.

The Lumberjacks lit up the scoreboard in the fifth when Jeff Brewer put down a perfectly-placed bunt single that allowed Noel Trevino to come home from third with two down.

However, that would be all Stephen F. Austin could muster the remainder of the evening.

Powell's run-scoring single to right in the bottom of the inning pushed the advantage back to four at 5-1 and a Rockett double-play ball to shortstop brought home Keithley with the Roadrunners' sixth run one frame later.

UTSA went on to tack on three tallies on one hit a Rockett RBI double, his SLC-leading 19th of the year two wild pitches and an SFA error in the eighth to complete the scoring.

Gregerson (0-2) was charged with the loss after giving up six runs on nine hits and five walks in six innings.

The Roadrunners finished with 10 hits on the night, their 20th double-digit performance of the year and seven of the nine starters on offense at least one on the night (all nine reached by hit, walk or hit by pitch). UTSA is 17-3 this year when recording 10 or more safeties.

The series continues at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Senior righty Bradley Chovanec (6-2, 4.11 ERA) will square off against Lumberjacks right-hander Erich Lehmann (1-4, 5.40).

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