UTSA clinches tie for Southland Conference Championship
|Head coach Sherman Corbett and his Roadrunners clinched a tie for the SLC Regular Season Championship on Sunday.|
The Roadrunners improved to 32-19 overall and it was their eighth victory in nine series finales this year in league play.
It wasn’t easy, though, as it took a run in the eighth inning to secure the win. Redshirt freshman Tim Palincsar drew a one-out walk and then moved to third on sophomore Michael Rockett’s single through the right side of the infield. Junior Trent Lockwood followed with a ground out to first that brought Palincsar home with the game-winning run.
Josh Blakley (6-0) held the Colonels scoreless over the final 3.2 frames to earn the victory. Blakley fanned five, including four of the final five hitters he faced, and ran his scoreless innings streak to 16.2 innings (nine games). He threw 34 of his 47 pitches for strikes (72.3%) and went ahead 0-2 to the final six batters of the contest
Back-to-back one-out doubles by junior Zach Etheredge and senior Mitch Ponza in the second led to UTSA’s first run of the day.
Nicholls State tied it up in the sixth on Brett Hoeflich’s one-out sacrifice fly to center. The inning could have been much worse for the Roadrunners, as the first two batters of the frame reached against UTSA starter Ryan Proudfoot. Quinton Corley then delivered a single to center field, but Rockett unleashed an outstanding throw to Etheredge to gun down Anthony Wray at the plate.
Proudfoot was strong in his ninth start of the year. The freshman right-hander gave up just one run on five hits and fanned four in 5.1 innings of work.
Michael Bartek (2-10) went the distance for the Colonels, giving up just seven hits, while punching out eight.
The Roadrunners wrap up the regular season next week with a three-game set against I-35 rival Texas State (34-19, 19-8 SLC). The series kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in San Marcos and then moves to Roadrunner Field for the final two contests (6 p.m. Friday/2 p.m. Saturday).
UTSA can clinch the outright conference title and No. 1 seed in the SLC Tournament with one victory against the Bobcats.