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Early Bird

UTSA salvages Sunday finale, 9-8

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
Release: 04/12/2010
Courtesy UTSA Athletics Communications
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Sophomore Casey Selsor recorded career highs of four hits and four RBIs on Sunday.
SAN ANTONIO — Freshman Daniel Rockett's sacrifice fly with one down in the eighth brought home junior Tommy Vukovich with the game-winning run and UTSA salvaged the final contest of this weekend's three-game series with Stephen F. Austin, 9-8, on Sunday afternoon at Roadrunner Field.

The Birds (13-17, 4-11 SLC) ended a three-game losing streak with the one-run victory and, coupled with Central Arkansas' 11-4 loss at league leader Texas State, moved out of the cellar of the Southland Conference standings. Meanwhile, the Lumberjacks (21-10, 9-5 SLC) saw their five-game winning streak come to an end.

Vukovich led off the deciding frame with a walk and senior Jeff Taliaferro then was hit by a Jason West pitch. Junior Tyler Carpenter followed with a perfectly-executed sacrifice bunt down the third-base line and Rockett lofted a fly ball to left one batter later, giving UTSA its third and final lead of the day.

Junior right-hander Kevin Clarke (3-0), who came on in the seventh, picked up the win after giving up just one run on three hits in his three innings of work. The Huntsville native struck out three in the 40-pitch relief outing.

West (1-3) went the final 1.1 frames for the Lumberjacks but was tagged with the loss after blowing his first save in seven chances this spring.

It was a back-and-forth affair that featured four lead changes and a pair of ties.

SFA touched UTSA starter Taylor Walton for a pair of runs in the opening stanza, but senior Ryan Rummel's fifth home run of the year in the bottom of the frame cut the lead in half.

A run-scoring double by sophomore Casey Selsor in the second tied the tilt at two and the Roadrunners took their first lead of the afternoon an inning later when Rockett brought home Carpenter, who reached on a three-base error by Lumberjacks left fielder Ryan Priest, with a sacrifice fly to center.

The advantage was short-lived, as Stephen F. Austin exploded for a quartet of marks on four hits, including back-to-back one-out homers by Riley Huble and Darren Crabtree, in the fourth.

After freshman Ryan Dalton got one of the runs back with an RBI double in the bottom of the inning, Jarid Scarafiotti's hit a solo shot to left with one down in the fifth to extend the edge back to three.

However, the Birds were able to go in front yet again with a four-run seventh.

Singles off the bats of Taliaferro and Carpenter got the rally started and Rockett followed with an RBI base hit to left to pull UTSA to within two at 7-5. Senior Lance Brown was hit by a pitch three batters later to load the bases and Selsor followed with a bases-clearing double to the gap in left center to put the Roadrunners back on top, 8-7.

The Lumberjacks tied the contest an inning later.

Patrick Gratzke stroked a lead-off double down the left-field line and Bo Coffman moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt. Gratzke came home two batters later when Crabtree swung at a third strike by Clarke but reached on a wild pitch.

Selsor finished the day with a career-high four hits, including a pair of doubles, and he also drove home a career-best four runs. Dalton was 2-for-4, Rockett recorded season-best three RBIs and Carpenter pushed his hitting streak to a season-long 11 games with his seventh-inning single.

Scarafiotti and Michael Haynes both had two hits for Stephen F. Austin and Tanner Hines extended his program-record hitting streak to 20 games with his first-inning base hit.

The Roadrunners wrap up their four-game home stand on Tuesday night against Houston (13-17). First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. UTSA defeated the Cougars, 6-5, two weeks ago in the Bayou City by and has won four of the last seven meetings between the two programs.

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