Stephen F. Austin exploded for five runs in the eighth inning to break open a tie game and the Lumberjacks rallied for a 12-7 victory against UTSA in Sunday’s rubber game of this weekend’s three-game Southland Conference series at Jaycees Field.
The Roadrunners (16-14, 8-7 SLC) lost for the sixth time in their last seven outings and allowed double-digit runs for the sixth time in the last nine.
After falling behind 3-0 on Bo Kauffman’s three-run homer in the first, UTSA began to chip away at the Lumberjacks’ early advantage.
Sophomore second baseman Ryan Hutson’s second long ball in as many days got the Birds on the board in the third and, after SFA (12-17, 5-9 SLC) responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame, UTSA tied the game at four with a three-spot an inning later.
A one-out triple by junior third baseman Lance Brown kick started the stanza and it was followed by a sacrifice fly off the bat of freshman first baseman Casey Selsor that was dropped by Lumberjacks left fielder Justin Long. Sophomore right-fielder Tyler Carpenter tied the contest two batters later when he launched his second homer of the year over the fence in left center field.
The Roadrunners took their first lead of the game with a pair of unearned runs in the fifth and added an insurance run a inning later for a 7-4 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Brian Ferguson’s two-run single through the right side of the infield with two down pulled Stephen F. Austin within one and Joe Staley’s home run to left center off UTSA left-handed reliever Matt Crocker tied the contest at seven.
After the Birds went down in order in the top of the eighth, the Lumberjacks saw six of their first seven hitters of the bottom of the stanza reach base, four of which resulted in run-scoring singles, and the SFA went on for the five-run victory.
Alex Moshier (3-0), who set UTSA down in order in the pivotal eighth, was the winning pitcher, while senior right-hander J.T. Mackey (0-1) was tagged with the loss after surrendering three of the final five runs of the game.
Hutson had a pair of hits to lead the Roadrunners offensively, while senior All-America center fielder Michael Rockett extended his hitting streak to 15 games with his double in the sixth.
Ferguson finished the afternoon a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs and Kauffman was 3-for-5 with a pair of runs and four RBIs.
UTSA wraps up its five-game road trip on Tuesday with a 3:30 p.m. doubleheader against Texas Tech (14-19) in Midland.