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UTSA storms past McNeese State, 20-6, in seven innings

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics Communications
Release: 10/29/2009
Courtesy UTSA Athletics Communications
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Box score

Sophomore Ryan Hutson went 4-for-4 and hit his eighth home run in the last 10 games on Saturday.
LAKE CHARLES, La. UTSA wiped out a 5-0 deficit with 14 unanswered runs in the fifth and sixth innings and the Roadrunners went on to post season highs in runs and hits in addition to setting the program's yearly record for home runs in a 20-6 victory at McNeese State on Saturday afternoon at Cowboy Diamond. The game was called after seven innings due to the Southland Conference's 10-run rule.

The Birds (28-21, 17-12 SLC) posted their first 20-run SLC performance since a 24-11 victory against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on May 5, 2007, and the margin of victory was their greatest since handing McNeese a 16-2 setback on March 18 of that same year.

Trailing 5-0 entering the fifth, it looked as though UTSA was in trouble, as Cowboys starter Matt Click had retired 11 of the last dozen hitters he had faced after giving up a triple to freshman Jason Mohn to start the game.

However, the tide turned in the blink of an eye, as the first six Roadrunners of the frame reached base and that chased McNeese's right-hander from the contest.

Sophomores Brett Aguilar and Ryan Hutson led off the inning with a walk and single, respectively. Junior Lance Brown then stroked a triple to center and junior Ryan Rummel followed with a homer over the hitter's eye for his fourth long ball of the year. Consecutive base hits by freshmen Casey Selsor and Jason Mohn kept the rally going and a one-out walk by senior Jose Hernandez loaded the bases. After senior All-American Michael Rockett hit an infield fly to short for the second out of the frame, Aguilar beat out a grounder to second that plated a pair and Hutson followed with two-run double down the left-field line. Brown then stroked a two-bagger to right for his second hit of the stanza and that rounded out the 10-run explosion.

All told, 15 batters came to the plate in the squad's third double-digit stanza of the year and the bottom five hitters in the lineup reached base two times apiece.

The Roadrunners went on to tack on four runs in the sixth and a half dozen more an inning later for the final margin of victory.

Hutson led the hit parade by going 4-for-4 with a walk, double, homer and three RBIs. The bomb was his eighth in the last 10 games and team-leading 13th of the year. He now has launched 20 homers in his first two years as a Roadrunners and that already ranks ninth on the program's chart.

Mohn added a career-high four hits and scored twice, while Aguilar went 3-for-4 with four runs scored and a career-best five RBIs. Brown posted three safeties for the ninth time this year.

Meanwhile, Rockett went 2-for-5 with a double to extend his hitting streak to 14 games and his double in the seventh tied Jordan Foster's (Lamar) conference career record of 63 set from 2001-04. The Sugar Land native already has set the league's at-bats, hits, RBIs and total bases marks this spring.

Hernandez briefly took the team lead with his 13th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh, but the advantage lasted all of two batters before Hutson tied him.

The Roadrunners have left the yard 22 times in their last seven games, including 10 times this weekend, and they now have slugged a school-record 70 this spring, breaking the previous mark of 66 set during the 1999 campaign.

Senior left-hander Kris Ruepke (2-5) was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion. The Adel, Iowa, native allowed six runs on a dozen hits, walked one and fanned a pair in his five-plus innings. Senior righty J.P. Holton struck out two and held the Cowboys hitless over the final two panels.

Click (2-3) was tagged with the loss after surrendering a half dozen runs on seven hits in four-plus innings. A quartet of relievers combined to cough up 14 tallies on 15 hits and three walks over the final three frames.

UTSA, which has scored 35 runs on 36 hits in the first two games of the series, now has won eight contests in a row (10 of 11 overall) against McNeese State and scored a total of 98 runs during that stretch, an average of 12.3 per victory.

The Birds will go after their third league sweep of the spring and 13th in the last three seasons when they send junior right-hander Ryan Proudfoot (1-1, 6.43 ERA) to the mound to face McNeese State righty Tommy Luce (2-3, 7.91 ERA) in Sunday's finale.

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