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Roadrunners outslug McNeese State, 15-10, for 500th all-time victory

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
Release: 10/29/2009
Courtesy UTSA Athletics Communications
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Senior All-American Michael Rockett had three RBIs on Friday night and became the Southland Conference's all-time leader.
LAKE CHARLES, La. UTSA clubbed six home runs, including two from sophomore Ryan Hutson, and senior All-American Michael Rockett became the Southland Conference's all-time leader in RBIs in a 15-10 comeback victory at McNeese State on Friday night. The win was the 500th in the Roadrunners' 18-year history.

The Birds (27-21, 16-12 SLC), who launched the second-most homers in school history for the second consecutive conference series opener, got back-to-back solo shots from Hutson and senior Aaron Powell with one down in the second, a two-run tater from Rockett an inning later, a grand slam from Hutson with two out in the fifth, a two-run long ball from freshman Jason Mohn in the seventh and a solo shot from junior Lance Brown one frame later.

Rockett's homer pushed his career total to 198 and he broke the SLC record of 197 shared by the Louisiana-Monroe pair of Corey Taylor (1995-98) and Willie Core (1998-2001). It is the fourth league mark he has set this season, as he already established new standards for at-bats, hits and total bases earlier this spring. The Sugar Land native, who is one double shy of tying Jordan Foster's (Lamar) record of 63 set from 2001-04, finished the night 3-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 13 games in addition to driving home three and scoring three times.

"It is awesome to set another record, but as I've said all year long, records are great, but I am more concerned about us getting wins and making it to a regional," he said. "A record like this is more about my teammates, because without them getting on base, I cannot drive them home."

Hutson, meanwhile, continued his hot-hitting ways. The Round Rock native slugged two homers for the third time in the last nine contests and has hit a total of seven during that span, which has pushed his season total to a team-leading 12 (tied with senior Jose Hernandez).

Sophomore left-hander Matt Crocker (4-1) kept the Birds within striking distance by allowing just one run on a pair of hits in 4.1 innings in relief of starter Red Patterson. Crocker walked two and struck out four.

Scott Holstein (2-6) coughed up six runs on five hits and walked a pair in his three frames of work.

After UTSA picked up an unearned run in the first, McNeese State (20-27, 9-19 SLC) exploded for five runs on the strength of three homers in its half of the frame to go up 5-1. The Birds scored a pair in the second to pull within three, but the Cowboys got another homer in the bottom of the inning to push the advantage back to four. The Roadrunners scored two more times the following stanza but lost more ground when McNeese put up a three spot in the fourth.

However, UTSA went on to score nine unanswered runs four in the fifth, three in the sixth and two more in the seventh to retake the lead. The Pokes pushed across a tally in the seventh, but by then, it was too little, too late.

Taylor Freeman went 3-for-5 with two homers and five RBIs to lead the Cowboys at the plate. Nick Eubanks, Sam Merrill and Lee Orr also went deep for McNeese State.

The Roadrunners have posted an all-time record of 500-504 since beginning play in 1992.

The series continues at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Senior southpaw Kris Ruepke (1-5, 8.39 ERA) will get the nod for UTSA.

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