Hartson, Kinder lead UTSA past No. 14 Rice on Friday, 4-2
SAN ANTONIO — Brock Hartson tossed his second complete game of the season and Logan Kinder broke open a tie game in the seventh inning with a two-run, inside-the-park home run to lead UTSA to a 4-2 victory against No. 14 Rice on Friday night.
Hartson improved to 6-2 after allowing two runs on five hits while striking out eight for UTSA (31-19, 15-10 C-USA). The sophomore right-hander tossed 111 pitches to earn the victory.
The Roadrunners manufactured the game’s first run in the bottom of the second inning when Mike Warren scored from third on a ground out to second base by Tony Ramirez.
In the next half inning, Keenan Cook scored on a double down the left-field line by Shane Hoelscher to even the game.
UTSA regained the lead in the fifth on a two-out single by C.J. Pickering to center. Jesse Baker scored on the play to give the Roadrunners a 2-1 edge.
Rice (32-16, 18-7 C-USA) responded again in the top of the sixth when John Clay Reeves drove the first pitch of the frame out to left for a solo home run to tie it up at two apiece.
The game rendered its deciding play in the bottom of the seventh off the bat of Kinder. The freshman from Leander roped a sinking liner into left field with two outs and Ramirez on first base. Rice left fielder Michael Aquino attempted to make a sliding catch but saw the ball go just wide of his glove and hop to the base of the wall. Aquino retreated and started the relay home that ultimately proved to be a step too late, as Kinder’s headfirst slide into home beat the tag by Reeves by a half step.
That was all the help Hartson needed, as the Pearland native retired the final 12 batters he faced, including a pair of strikeouts in the ninth.
Warren led the Roadrunners at the plate with a 2-for-4 night.
The series will continue at 2 p.m. on Saturday.