Roadrunners split Saturday twinbill at Utah State
KAYSVILLE, Utah — UTSA dropped a 1-0 decision to Utah State in the resumption of Friday's suspended contest before avoiding a series sweep with a 5-4 victory in Saturday's series finale at Barnes Field.
Darian Blake went 4-for-7 with an RBI and two runs scored, including three hits in the final game of the series for the Roadrunners (20-16, 5-4 WAC), who snapped a four-game losing streak. The hits extended the Katy native’s hitting streak to nine games. Victoria Birdwell also had three hits and an RBI, while Alyssa Vordenbaum improved to 8-7 with a win.
Meanwhile, Mandy Harmon allowed just two hits and three walks while striking out eight in the first game of the day for the Aggies (8-29, 2-7 WAC). Allison Lenzora drove in a pair of runs as Utah State tried to rally from a 5-0 deficit in the final contest.
Harmon (2-18) no-hit UTSA in the opener until Blake’s single through the left side in the sixth.
By then, Utah State held a 1-0 lead with the game’s only run coming in the second inning on Rachael Hunsaker’s bunt hit that drove in Nicole Arata.
Vivina Tijerina came away with a one-out single in the seventh and the Roadrunners had runners on first and second with two outs after Jolene Graham was hit by a pitch. However, Harmon got Samantha Beeson to pop up to end the game.
UTSA hurler Haylee Staton (9-6) allowed one unearned run on eight hits and a walk. The Austin native notched four strikeouts in the losing effort.
In game two, the Roadrunners grabbed their first lead of the series with a pair of runs in the first inning.
Blake and Courtney Buchman opened the panel with singles before a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners 60 feet. After a foul out, Birdwell plated a run with a single to left field and UTSA pushed the lead to 2-0 with a double steal.
The Birds had a chance to add to their advantage in the fourth with a pair of hits and a walk, but they were unable to cash in on the bases-loaded opportunity.
Blake extended the lead in the seventh with a run-scoring triple to right field after Alexis Ramirez opened the frame with a walk. Buchman walked and stole second to put a pair of runners in scoring position and the pair scored on Jolene Graham’s double to left.
Vordenbaum took a 5-0 lead to the bottom of the inning, but she exited with one out after giving up a pair of runs.
Staton surrendered a two-run single to Lenzora and the Aggies loaded the bases with two outs, but Arata popped up to end the game. The Austin native earned her third save of the spring.
Vordenbaum (8-7) gave up three earned runs on seven hits and logged one strikeout. Noelle Johnson (3-10) surrendered four runs on seven hits and struck out six.
UTSA will be back in action on Friday, April 12, when they travel to Las Cruces, N.M., for the beginning a three-game series at New Mexico State (24-13, 6-1 WAC).