Roadrunners complete sweep of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Sunday
|Junior Trent Lockwood launched his team-leading 11th home run of the season on Sunday.|
The Roadrunners hit a season-high four home runs for the second time this weekend (third time in 2007) and won their sixth game in a row to improve to 30-18 overall and a SLC-best 20-4. UTSA, which has won 13 of its last 14 home contests, now has won 30 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time in 12 years (1994-95) and posted consecutive campaigns with 20 conference victories for the first time in school history.
Run-scoring ground outs by Bryan Gerondale and Jason Graham in the first and Martin Parra’s RBI single one inning later gave the Islanders (23-27, 8-16 SLC) an early 3-0 advantage.
The Roadrunners bats awakened in a big way in the fourth when nine runs crossed the plate on just six hits. Junior Trent Lockwood’s two-run homer to right center got the inning started and sophomore Michael Rockett’s three-run shot later in the frame gave UTSA what appeared to be a comfortable 9-3 lead.
However, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi did not go away quietly, responding with five runs on five hits in the seventh to pull within one. The Roadrunners quickly put an end to any thoughts of a come-from-behind victory when they responded with five runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning, highlighted by junior Zach Etheredge’s ninth long ball of the year, a three-run shot to left.
Redshirt freshman Tim Palincsar launched his fifth homer of the season, a solo shot to lead off the eighth, to put UTSA up 15-8 and a pair of unearned runs by the Islanders in the ninth wrapped up the scoring.
All nine starters on offense crossed the plate for the Roadrunners and eight registered hits in the five-run victory.
Rockett led the way by going 3-for-5 with a double, his seventh homer (third of the series) and three RBIs. Lockwood added a two-bagger, his team-leading 11th tater of the season (T-No. 5 on UTSA’s single-season chart) and three RBIs.
The Roadrunners now have 54 home runs this year, which are the third-most in school annals and the second-highest total in the seven-year Sherman Corbett era. UTSA left the yard 55 times in 2004 and the single-season record is 66, set back in 1999.
Freshman right-hander Ryan Proudfoot (4-2) allowed three runs on six hits and fanned three in six innings to earn the victory. Freshman Zach Calhoon, who entered the game with the bases loaded and just one down in the seventh, struck out a career-high six over the final 2.2 innings to pick up his team-leading sixth save of the season (T-No. 5 on UTSA’s single-season chart).
Gerondale was 1-for-5 with his sixth homer of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh, and three RBIs for the Islanders.
A&M-Corpus Christi starter Omar Gutierrez (3-5) was charged with the loss after giving up five runs on five hits in 3.1 innings of work. The bullpen gave up the remaining 10 runs and finished the series with a 23.04 ERA in 11.1 innings.
All told, the Roadrunners hit .461 (47-102) with 25 extra-base hits (14 2B, 11 HR) and outscored the Islanders 51-21 in the three-game set. They scored in double figures in all three contests, bringing their total to 12 in 24 league tilts this season.
UTSA begins a four-game road trip on Friday, May 11, when it travels to Nicholls State (9-40, 5-19 SLC) for a three-game SLC series.