UTSA dominates game three, takes series win against Utah

Rylan Renteria, Contributor

SAN ANTONIO After Utah snapped UTSA’s 5-game winning streak in the series opener, the Roadrunners outscored the Utes 25-8 in games two and three, winning the series 2-1.

After winning Sunday’s game against Utah, the Roadrunners are 3-1 against Power Five opponents this season [Utah, Baylor].

Star pitcher Luke Malone gave up an uncharacteristic five hits in Friday’s series opener, allowing Utah to score four runs in the fifth inning, setting up for the 5-3 loss.

The Utes opened Saturday’s game at the same pace. Utah scored four runs in the top of the first to take an early 4-0 lead.

“We’re pitching good, we gave up five runs and three of them were on the infield,” coach Pat Hallmark said. “We just gotta continue to work on defense.”

The defense snapped back to reality, only allowing one run the rest of the game to UTSA’s 11.

The Roadrunners’ run was ignited with a Leyton Barry RBI groundout to bring in a baserunner. 

Antonio Valdez smashed a home run in the third inning to tie the game at four runs.

 “You can tell these pitchers are getting exhausted; they’re going through arm after arm, it’s just a full team effort. Eventually everybody is going to be hitting like this,” Valdez said after the game. 

UTSA would tack on three scores in the fourth thanks to an RBI triple from Valdez to bring in two and an RBI single from outfielder Caleb Hill. 

Two innings later, Hill slashed a triple into right-center field. An errant throw from the Utah infield would send the ball out of play, allowing Hill to advance home. UTSA led by four with three innings to play. 

The ‘Runners took care of business Saturday evening, 11-5, to tie the series 1-1.

After a scoreless first inning, UTSA would score three in the second inning thanks to a home run by Caleb Hill that would bring in two. A couple of hits later, an error by the Utah infield would allow Josh Killeen to advance home.

Three innings later, both Utah and UTSA would score two a piece. Utah pitcher had walked Shane Sirdashney, a mistake he would come to regret as Antonio Valdez would hit a homerun not long after, giving UTSA a 5-2 lead. 

In the sixth, the Roadrunners would score a whopping six runs thanks to RBI’s from Leyton Barry, Valdez and Hill and a home plate steal from Killeen. This would give UTSA a nine run lead with three to play.

The final nail in the coffin would come the very next inning as Valdez would slam one over the right-center field wall and bring in three baserunners. 

This would be Valdez’s second home run of the game. “What you saw today was the result of all the hard work we’ve been putting together,” Valdez said.

A Utah solo home run would make the score a little closer, but UTSA would come away with the win 14-3 and take the series 2-1. 

“It means a little bit; certainly the guys know who they’re playing, but we don’t talk much about it,” coach Hallmark said. 

The Roadrunners will travel to San Marcos to take on the Texas State Bobcats. The single-game series begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7, at Bobcat Stadium.