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UTSA continues best start in 12 years with 4-2 win on Friday night

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
Release: 02/27/2010
Courtesy UTSA Athletics Communications
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Junior Tyler Carpenter's two-run triple in the first was all the offense junior Matt Crocker needed on Friday night.
SAN ANTONIO — Junior Tyler Carpenter ripped a two-run triple down the right-field line with two down in the first and UTSA received another quality start from junior left-hander Matt Crocker in a 4-2 victory against Indiana State on Friday night in the opener of this weekend's four-game series at Roadrunner Field.

The Birds improved to 3-0 and continued their best start in a dozen years, while the Sycamores (3-1) dropped their first game of the spring in the first meeting between the two schools.

Senior Lance Brown got the opening frame started with a one-out infield single to ISU starting pitcher Jacob Petricka and he promptly moved to second on a throwing error by the right-hander on the play. Brown moved up a base on a wild pitch during junior Ryan Hutson's at-bat, but UTSA's second baseman was unable to bring him home on a sharp grounder to third. Junior Brett Aguilar then drew a five-pitch walk and Carpenter followed with a liner down the first-base line when he was down in the count, 0-2.

That would be all the offense Crocker (2-0) would need as he continued his hot start to the campaign.

The Kingwood native kept the Sycamores off the board in all seven of his innings, allowing just five singles and a walk, in addition to striking out four. Only one runner reached third base — that came in the fourth — and just one other reached scoring position. He faced 26 hitters in the 101-pitch (67 strikes) gem and only seven were able to send balls out of the infield on the 55-degree, windy night.

"Carp did a great job of getting us on the board early with a big hit and that made my job easy tonight," Crocker said. "It definitely was a pitcher's night, so I focused on throwing strikes and letting them get themselves out. I felt really comfortable out there and, anytime you can get a win, it's a great night."

UTSA added a run in the second when senior Jeff Taliaferro crossed the plate on a bases-loaded wild pitch by Petricka and another six panels later on an Aguilar walk with the bases filled with Roadrunners.

Junior righty Taylor Walton relieved Crocker to start the eighth and picked up his second save of the year despite allowing things to get interesting in a two-run ninth. Walton gave up three hits and fanned one in his two frames.

The Birds had multiple opportunities to blow the game open, but they stranded 14 runners on the night.

Sophomore Casey Selsor had two hits to pace UTSA at the plate and sophomore Jason Mohn added his second double of the year with two down in the fifth.

Petricka (1-1) saw his record even out after surrendering three runs on three hits and five walks in his four innings of work.

Luke Fieser was 2-for-4 and Grant Grgurich, who pinch hit in the seventh and remained in the contest at second base, added a pair of safeties off the bench for Indiana State.

The series continues on Saturday with a 2 p.m. doubleheader. Sophomore lefty Casey Selsor (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is slated to face fellow southpaw Joe Rodriguez (1-0, 11.25) in the seven-inning lid-lifter, while junior right-handers Mike Pierce (0-0, 4.50 ERA) and Jason Van Skike (1-0, 0.00) will toe the rubber in the nine-panel nightcap.

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