· Box score
|Freshman Ryan Dalton leads UTSA with 13 home runs and 41 RBIs this season.
— Freshman Ryan Dalton broke open a 4-all contest with a three-run home run in the seventh and UTSA ended a four-game losing streak with a 10-6 victory against Nicholls on Friday night at Roadrunner Field.
The Birds (15-27, 6-19 SLC) picked up their first series-opening win since April 1 (19-5, at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) and moved within five games of the Colonels (22-22, 11-14 SLC) for the eighth and final spot in this month's Southland Conference Tournament. They also recorded their ninth consecutive win against Nicholls overall and 12th in a row at the Bird Bath.
Senior Lance Brown drew a one-out walk to start the decisive rally and was safe at second when Colonels starting pitcher Clint Dempster's throw on a grounder off the bat of senior Ryan Rummel was high for an error. Dalton followed with his team-leading 13th homer of the season and UTSA went on to score two more runs in the frame.
Nicholls drew within three in the eighth on Adam Miley's two-run homer to left, but the Roadrunners took advantage of the Colonels' fourth error of the night in the bottom of the frame to stretch the lead to four to wrap up the scoring.
Sophomore starter Casey Selsor (5-6) allowed four runs (three earned) in his seven innings of work and picked up his first win since April 1. The southpaw scattered 11 hits, walked three and fanned four in the 118-pitch performance.
Dempster (5-5), who entered the game as the reigning National Player of the Week, was knocked around to the tune of seven runs (six earned) on a dozen hits in 6.1 panels. He walked one and fanned four.
After Nicholls took a 2-0 lead in the second, UTSA responded with a two-spot of its own in the bottom of the inning, both scoring with two outs.
Junior Tyler Carpenter got the Birds on the board with his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot to left, and freshman Daniel Rockett followed with a single up the middle. The Roadrunners' center field then moved up to third when Dempster's pickoff throw to first was wide and he crossed the plate one batter later when Brown stroked a double to left center.
The Colonels went back in front one inning later when Steven Gauthe, who led off the frame with a single, came home on a throwing error by Dalton on Keith Kulbeth's bunt single three hitters later.
The Birds took their first lead of the night in the bottom of the stanza when freshman Jake Wood lined a one-out sacrifice fly to left with the bases loaded and Carpenter followed with a run-scoring liner to right.
However, Nicholls promptly tied things up in the fifth when Gauthe successfully executed a safety squeeze with runners on the corners and one down.
Carpenter led UTSA's 17-hit offensive attack with his 4-for-5, three-RBI night, while Dalton went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs.
Brady Borque, Bear Comer, Gauthe and Miley all had two hits for the Colonels.
The series continues at 2 p.m. on Saturday.