Perucki walk-off home run in 14th lifts UTSA past Sacramento State, 3-2
GRAND PRAIRIE — RJ Perucki's walk-off home run to lead off the bottom of the 14th inning ended the longest game in Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament history and give No. 4 seed UTSA a 3-2 victory against fifth-seeded Sacramento State on Wednesday at QuikTrip Park.
Perucki hit the first pitch of the frame from reliever Brandon Creel over the wall in left field to give the Roadrunners (32-23) their seventh win in their last eight games.
"Off the bat I knew it was gone," Perucki said of his game-winning blast and team-high 11th round-tripper of the campaign. "It was one of the best balls that came off my bat all season."
Prior to the final at-bat of the game, the Hornets (33-24) had retired 19 of the last 20 UTSA batters, allowing only a leadoff walk to John Welborn in the 13th before a double play erased him off the basepaths.
Perucki finished the contest with two hits, including a double, while Jesse Baker was a triple away from the cycle in going 3-for-5 while crushing a solo home run to give the Birds a 2-1 lead in the seventh.
Matt Sims (5-2), who entered the game with one out in the eighth, hurled 6.2 scoreless panels and retired the final nine hitters he faced.
Starter Brock Hartson allowed just two runs on four hits in 7.1 innings before handing the ball over to Sims.
Sacramento State took a 1-0 lead in the third on Andrew Ayers' solo homer to left field.
However, UTSA answered a frame later to tie the game.
Perucki led off with a double and advanced to third on Tony Ramirez's ground out to first base. Horacio Correa III drove in Perucki on the following pitch with another ground out.
Baker gave the Roadrunners a 2-1 lead after depositing the first pitch of the seventh over the left-field wall.
However, the Hornets responded in their next at-bat when Nathan Lukes hit an RBI triple to left center, which brought Dane Fujinaka all the way around from first with the tying run.
Both teams went silent until Perucki stepped to the plate in the 14th.
Creel (8-4) allowed one run on one hit and walked one in two-plus stanzas.
UTSA will continue pool play against eighth-seeded San Jose State (17-39) at 3 p.m. on Thursday. The Roadrunners will send left-hander Michael Kraft (5-5, 4.02 ERA) to the mound, while the Spartans, who dropped their tournament opener to top seed CSU Bakersfield by a score of 11-3, have not yet announced their starter.