Junior Matt Crocker allowed just a run and struck out a half dozen over six innings on Saturday.
SAN ANTONIO — UTSA received a solid outing from junior Matt Crocker in his first career start and he was backed by three home runs, as the Roadrunners opened the 2010 campaign with a 9-2 victory against Houston Baptist on Saturday afternoon.
The left-hander was outstanding, allowing just one run on six singles and a walk and the Kingwood native struck out a half dozen in his six-inning, 75-pitch (55 strikes) outing.
Second baseman Ryan Hutson launched a solo homer to left with two down in the first, freshman Ryan Dalton led off the fifth with a solo shot of his own and sophomore Casey Selsor hit a two-run bomb to right center as part of a four-run frame in the sixth and that was all the offense Crocker would need on the overcast, 63-degree day at Roadrunner Field.
"I was very pleased with the way we played in all three phases of the game today," UTSA 10th-year head coach Sherman Corbett said after the game. "Matt set the tone on the mound early and that gave our hitters an opportunity to get comfortable and do some damage in the middle innings. It's always nice to start the season on a positive note."
Hutson, who finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base, continued his torrid pace at the plate, albeit with a nine-month break between plate appearances. The preseason second-team All-Southland Conference performer now has left the park 13 times in his 14 contests, dating back to April 21, 2009, and the homer was the 25th of his career, which moved him into a seventh-place tie with Chris Lewis (2004-05) on the program's all-time list.
Senior Lance Brown added a pair of hits and scored twice, while freshman Jake Wood stroked a two-run double as part of the Birds' big sixth inning.
Meanwhile, junior right-hander Taylor Walton fanned four over the final three frames in relief of Crocker to earn the save.
HBU starter Dalton Schafer (0-1) allowed six runs (four earned) on seven hits in five-plus innings.
Four Huskies recorded two safeties as part of a 10-hit offensive attack and Beau Warren left the yard off Walton in the ninth.
The Roadrunners now have won consecutive season openers for the first time in 15 years (1994-95) and for only the second time in the program's 19-year history
The season-opening series concludes at 1 p.m. on Sunday when junior college transfers Mike Pierce and Jamie Storey start on the mound for UTSA and Houston Baptist, respectively.