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Aguilar's two-run blast gives Roadrunners weekend sweep at Nicholls

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
Release: 10/29/2009
Courtesy UTSA Athletics Communications
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Sophomore Brett Aguilar's two-run homer in the eighth, the first of his career, helped send UTSA to its sixth consecutive win on Sunday.
THIBODAUX, La. Sophomore Brett Aguilar made the first home run of his two-year career a memorable one, as he launched a two-run shot with two down in the eighth to propel UTSA to a 6-5 come-from-behind victory on Sunday at Nicholls.

The Roadrunners (25-18, 14-10 SLC) completed their second Southland Conference sweep of the season (12th in last three years), extended their winning streak to a half dozen contests and posted their 13th comeback win of the spring. UTSA will enter next weekend's I-35 rivalry series against Texas State in third place in the league standings, one game back of Southeastern Louisiana (Birds took 2-of-3 from Lions earlier this season) and five behind the Bobcats.

"I thought we played really well across the board this weekend," ninth-year head coach Sherman Corbett said. "We got timely hits and solid pitching when we needed them and I thought we played good defense. It was big to come over here and get a sweep at a really tough place to play. We need to carry the momentum from this week's wins into Tuesday's doubleheader at Baylor and next weekend against Texas State."

Trailing 5-4 with two down in the deciding inning, senior All-American Michael Rockett got the rally started with a single up the middle off Nicholls closer Ross Larson, who entered the game to start the frame. Rockett, who represented the trying run, moved up to second on a wild pitch three tosses later and Aguilar then slammed Larson's 2-2 change-up over the wall in right field to give the Birds a 6-5 advantage.

“I was looking for a pitch that I could drive when I started the at-bat, but once Rockett got to second, I knew I just needed to get a ball into the outfield for a hit,” Aguilar said. “They made me look pretty bad on change-ups early in the game, and even the pitch before I hit the homer, but I was able to get a hold of one when it mattered most. I’m glad I could help us get to a win and complete a sweep.”

Corbett sent his preseason All-America closer Zach Calhoon into the contest to start the bottom of the inning and the right-hander worked around a two-out single, keeping UTSA in front entering the final frame.

The Roadrunners nearly tacked on an insurance run in the ninth when sophomore Ryan Hutson doubled with one down and moved to third on a grounder to short off the bat of junior Ryan Rummel. However, Larson struck out freshman Jason Mohn looking to end the threat.

Scott Moseley started the bottom of the frame by drawing a seven-pitch walk from Calhoon. Keith Kulbeth then moved Moseley into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and that brought up Zach Tisdale. Calhoon quickly got ahead in the count 1-2 and Tisdale watched the Spring native's slider break across the plate for the third strike and Moseley, who took off for third on the delivery, was gunned down by sophomore Tyler Carpenter to end the thrilling one-run victory.

Sophomore southpaw Matt Crocker (3-0) picked up his second win of the series with two scoreless frames out of the bullpen. Crocker struck out three and gave up just one hit and a walk in the 31-pitch, 21-strike performance. He now has won three games and struck out 20 in his last half dozen relief outings, which covers 10.2 innings. Calhoon, meanwhile. picked up his sixth save of the year and extended his conference career record to 25.

Larson (1-4) lost for the second time this weekend after allowing a pair of runs on three hits in his two innings of work.

After Nicholls (17-25, 8-16 SLC) jumped out to an early lead with a pair of runs in the opening stanza, UTSA responded with a mark in the next inning and two more in the third to take its first advantage of the afternoon.

Aguilar stroked a one-out double to left and came home on batter later on senior Aaron Powell's single up the middle for the Birds' first run of the day. Run-scoring singles by Rockett and senior Jose Hernandez with two down in the third gave the Roadrunners a one-run edge.

The Colonels tied the game at three on Jason Dennis' RBI two-bagger in the fourth, but UTSA went back in front on Hernandez' infield single up the middle the next inning.

However, Nicholls scored a pair in its half of the fifth and held a one-run lead until Aguilar's heroic blast. 

Aguilar, Hernandez and Rockett all had a pair of hits to lead the Roadrunners, while Jacob Knight, Kulbeth and Josh Swenson paced the Colonels with their two safeties.

UTSA will be back in action on Tuesday when it travels up I-35 to face Baylor (25-17) in a twi-night doubleheader. The twinbill is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. with a nine-inning contest that will be the 1,000th in the program's 18-year history and it concludes with a seven-frame nightcap.

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