Baseball pulls off walk-off upset over #2 Stanford, rolls to dominant sweep of Seattle


Julia Maenius

Leyton Barry rips a ball during a game against UIW last season. Barry is of to a fast start at the plate this season, hitting .406 with three doubled and seven RBIs. Barry drove in the game winning run in extra innings against the Stanford Cardinal on Monday.

Ryder Martin, Sports Editor

The UTSA Roadrunners (7-1), in perhaps the biggest upset win in this decade for UTSA baseball, knocked off the No.2 Stanford Cardinal (6-2) 6-5 on a walk-off RBI single by Leyton Berry in extra innings on Monday, Feb. 28. Prior to this, the team took on the Seattle Redhawks (1-7) this past weekend from Friday, Feb. 25 through Sunday, Feb. 27, and secured a series sweep, outscoring the Redhawks 34-5 in the process.

The Roadrunners took on the Stanford Cardinal on Monday afternoon and it was already a historic occasion. Stanford represented the highest-ranked team in any sport to visit UTSA for an away game and right from the first pitch, it was a spirited contest. Ryan Beaird (0-0, 3.18 ERA) got the start on the mound for UTSA and did his job, lasting two innings while allowing two hits, one walk, one run and striking out one before handing things over to the rest of the bullpen. Stanford got out to an early lead in the top of the second with an RBI single up the middle to take a 0-1 lead. UTSA came right back in the bottom half of the inning when Shane Sirdashney lashed a ball through the left side for an RBI single. After holding the Cardinal in the top of the third, the ‘Runners took the lead in the bottom half of the inning when Ryan Flores hit a sacrifice fly to score Tapia. The Cardinal did not let the lead last for long, however, a solo home run from Carter Graham tied things up at 2-2. 

It was in the bottom of the fourth, though, that UTSA took firm control of the game. Garret Poston started the inning off with a leadoff triple and then Sirdashney brought him home with another RBI single. Later in the inning, Chase Keng crushed a two-RBI double to left-center to give UTSA a 5-2 lead. However, Stanford did not falter, demonstrating why they’re the No. 2 team in the nation. They got a run back in the fifth on a sacrifice fly to draw within two runs at 5-3. Meanwhile, the ‘Runners squandered chances with runners in scoring position in both the fifth and the seventh. In the eighth Graham’s second home run of the game — this one a two-run shot —tied things up at 5-5. John Chomko (1-0, 0.00 ERA) was called on to pitch the ninth inning and got through it unscathed, setting up UTSA with an opportunity to walk it off in the bottom of the ninth. They were not able to get it done, however, going down in order to send the game to extra innings. 

Chomko continued to come through in the clutch, though, facing the 2-3-4 hitters of Stanford’s lineup, the heart of the order. Chomko sat them all down to give UTSA another chance to walk it off. This time, the offense came through. Sirdashney reached base on a throwing error that sent him to second. Kody Darcy bunted Sirdashney over to third and reached base safely on the play, setting things up for Barry. On a 3-1 count, Barry ripped a ball into left-center field that went off the wall, scoring Sirdashney and sending the ‘Runners streaming out of the dugout in celebration as they upset No.2 Stanford. 

Before their thrilling walk-off win, the ‘Runners squared off against the Redhawks in a four-game series over the weekend. Things got started on Friday afternoon with the first game of a doubleheader, meaning the two games on Friday would be seven-inning affairs. Jacob Jimenez (1-0, 1.17 ERA) got the start on the mound for UTSA and struggled early. Jimenez only lasted two and two-thirds innings while allowing four hits, three runs, one earned, three walks and striking out three before he was relieved by Beaird (0-0, 2.45 ERA). With the Redhawks out to an early 0-3 lead after three innings, the ‘Runners offense got them back in the ballgame. A two-RBI single from Sirdashney in the bottom of the fourth brought the ‘Runners to within one, and a Josh Killeen sacrifice fly tied things at 3-3 in the fifth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, UTSA came through when it mattered most as they batted around the order, putting up four runs to take a commanding 7-3 lead heading into the last inning. Reece Easterling (1-0, 3.60 ERA), who relieved Beaird in the sixth inning, allowed one runner to reach base in the seventh, but got the final outs with minimal trouble to help UTSA secure the victory in the series opener by a final score of 7-3. 

Game two of the series took place shortly afterward and it was another tight contest. Luke Malone (1-0, 1.23 ERA) made his first start of the season on the mound and turned in a sterling effort. Malone went seven and a third innings and allowed only three hits, one run, did not walk anybody and struck out seven. An RBI single by Sammy Diaz to score Barry in the bottom of the second staked Malone to an early lead and he breezed through the next few innings, retiring nine in a row at one point. In the bottom of the seventh, Malone got some insurance runs when Austin Ochoa crushed a double to deep right field, pushing across two more runs to give UTSA a 3-0 lead after seven innings. Malone was pulled in favor of Allen Smith (0-0, 7.20 ERA) after allowing a baserunner in the eighth and Seattle seized their opportunity against the new pitcher. The Redhawks scored two in the inning, but crucially Smith was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam to hold the ‘Runners’ lead. Smith’s struggles continued in the ninth as the Redhawks put runners on first and second with one out. Head coach Pat Hallmark had seen enough and pulled Smith in favor of Daniel Shafer (0-0, 5.79 ERA). Shafer got the first batter he faced to pop out to centerfield and after a wild pitch put both the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, induced a ground out to shortstop to pick up the save as UTSA escaped with a 3-2 victory. 

Saturday saw the ‘Runners gunning for the series victory and unlike the previous two games, the result was never in doubt. The pitching staff of Ulises Quiroga (1-0, 1.29 ERA), Simon Miller (1-0, 0.00 ERA), Grant Miller (0-0, 9.00 ERA) and Ryan Ward (0-0, 4.50 ERA) combined to throw a four-hit shutout as they almost completely silenced the Redhawk’s bats. Offensively, the ‘Runners enjoyed a strong day up and down the lineup. The ‘Runners jumped out to an early lead after scoring twice in the first inning and once in the second off of a monster Killeen home run to left field. Then in the seventh, the ‘Runners poured it on by scoring six times in the inning. They then tacked on two more runs in the eighth to cruise to a series-clinching 11-0 victory. 

On Sunday in the series finale, it was much the same story. Braden Davis (1-0, 1.93 ERA) got the start on the mound for UTSA and was outstanding. The freshman threw six shutout innings while allowing only two hits, one walk and striking out six. Offensively, the ‘Runners exploded, recording 20 hits and scoring 13 runs. Jonathan Tapia in particular had an outstanding day at the plate, going 3-5 and crushing his first home run of the year, a three-run shot in the sixth inning. Hunter Mayo (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and Fischer Kingsbery (0-0, 0.00 ERA) came on in relief of Davis and worked three innings of shutout ball to secure the two-hit shutout as UTSA rolled to a dominant 13-0 win to get the series sweep.

Fresh off of their thrilling walk-off victory over Stanford, the team will remain at home this week for a three-game weekend series against Southern University (2-6) from March 4-6. The game will be available to watch on