Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

UTSA stuns No.10 ECU in three-game series

Baseball earns highest-ranked series win in program history

UTSA baseball opened up its first series as members of the American Athletic Conference in historic fashion, winning the first and third games against No.10 East Carolina over the weekend at Roadrunner Field. 

After allowing 14 runs to Texas State on Tuesday, the Roadrunners (12-12, 2-1 AAC) regrouped to hand the Pirates (16-6, 1-2) their first series loss of the season. Getting a series win is great for any squad, but to do it against the highest-ranked opponent in program history meant something a little extra to coach Pat Hallmark. 

“I feel good. We did so many things right, which you have to do to beat good teams,” Hallmark said. “There was no phase of the game where we came up short today, it was our best game of the year.” 

In Sunday’s series finale, UTSA drew first blood in the bottom of the first inning with RBIs from senior infielder Alexander Olivo and junior utility Broc Parmer, allowing Matt King and Mason Lytle to score. After ECU brought in a run in its next at-bat, UTSA responded with two additional runs from junior infielder Zane Spinn and senior outfielder Caleb Hill, making the score 4-1. 

While the offense was doing their part, the game was ultimately decided on the mound.   Hallmark called upon sophomore pitcher Ruger Riojas, who played in Friday’s opener, to close out the final two innings and secure the 6-5 victory. 

“I had to go in there with 110% effort and be completely focused on every single pitch,” Riojas said. “I was just really feeling myself today.” 

UTSA’s offense came out hot in Friday’s series opener. An RBI single from King allowed  Lytle to reach home untouched. UTSA tacked on three more runs in the third from RBI singles from Parmer and junior utility James Taussig, as well as a sacrificial bunt from sophomore outfielder Tye Odom. 

“It feels great. Their pitcher is really good and I’m impressed and proud of our hitters,” Hallmark said. “There’s a few things we didn’t do well but we threw strikes and played good defense. I’m proud of the team.” 

Following the Pirates’ first score in the sixth inning, Riojas made his debut in the series to seal game one for the ‘Runners. 

“He’s mentally tough, he’s a guy who wants the ball with the game on the line,” Hallmark said. 

Riojas treated it just like any other game, capturing the 4-2 win for the ‘Runners.

“I was just trying to get some outs and get my team back in there hitting,” he said. 

A late rally in game two saw UTSA score six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to bring the score to 12-10. ECU answered with two runs of their own in the top of the ninth, to which UTSA had no response, falling 14-10. The Roadrunners gave up 16 hits and committed four errors. 

With conference play officially underway, the Roadrunners will get a fresh start with a winning record. The team will continue to be tested down the stretch, but for Hallmark and his squad, the mentality remains the same. 

“Every game is so important,” he said. “We’re trying to win every game like it’s the last weekend of the season.”

UTSA will hit the road to face Baylor. The solo game showdown is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Baylor Ballpark.

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Rylan Renteria
Rylan Renteria, Distribution Manager
Rylan is a psychology major in his junior year at UTSA, and is entering his second semester as a writer for The Paisano. As a major fan of both the Seattle Seahawks and Mariners, Rylan is also very supportive of the San Antonio Spurs and all UTSA Athletics which can be shown in his commentary writing pieces. Aside from watching sports, Rylan enjoys watching horror movies, playing video games and playing intramural sports.

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