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

Roadrunners claim first place American Athletic Conference

Baseball routes Charlotte for third consecutive series win

After dropping the opening game, UTSA baseball run-ruled Charlotte the following two games to capture its third straight conference series win over the weekend at Roadrunner Field. 

The Roadrunners (19-13, 7-2 American Athletic Conference) had not met the 49ers since the 2023 Conference-USA tournament, where UTSA was upset in the first round. Though the 49ers’ (14-18, 4-5) roster has experienced major turnover since the last time they met, coach Pat Hallmark knew stealing this series would be a challenge. 

“They’re always good, their coach is just so invested. He’s going to get everything out of his players,” Hallmark said. “I’m proud of our effort though.” 

In Sunday’s series finale, the ‘Runners brought in two runs in the opening inning. After Matt King, Broc Parmer and James Taussig managed to load the bases, junior infielder Hector Rodriguez was hit by Charlotte pitcher Cameron Hansen, bringing King home. Hansen walked the next UTSA batter, Zane Spinn, to score Parmer. After Charlotte brought in a run the next inning, UTSA scored 11 runs unanswered. 

“We had good at-bats yesterday and we did it again today,” Hallmark said.

On the bump for UTSA was starter Ulises Quiroga. Through six innings Quiroga allowed six hits, one run and earned seven strikeouts. 

“The mentality was just to attack and let the defense work,” Quiroga said. 

A 12 pitch seventh inning shutout from senior pitcher Fischer Kingsbery was all UTSA needed to seal the 13-1 victory.  

Game two was tied 4-4 through three innings. Over the next four innings, UTSA scored 10 runs. King got the rally started with an RBI double to center field, allowing Mason Lytle to score. King reached home on a wild pitch and Caleb Hill scored off a fielder’s choice, making the score 7-4 entering the fifth. 

With the lead, Hallmark brought in sophomore ace Ruger Riojas to keep the 49ers at bay. Riojas tossed four strikeouts across four scoreless innings en route to a 14-4 UTSA win. 

“He enjoys competing against other people that are good,” Hallmark said. “He’s got talent but he’s also got that competitive mindset that we like around here.”  

In the opener, the ‘Runners established an early lead but let it slip away in the ensuing innings. In the second, an RBI from junior catcher Andrew Stuckey allowed Ty Tilson to reach home. Later in the same inning, a wild pitch pushed Stuckey home to give UTSA a 2-0 advantage. Throughout the remainder of the game, Charlotte outscored UTSA 10-3, handing UTSA its first loss in six games. 

“We just weren’t sharp,” Hallmark said. 

With the series win and an East Carolina loss, UTSA officially claims first place in league standings. UTSA also now takes the all-time series lead against Charlotte, moving to 17-16 against the 49ers. Despite already having a series win against the No.10 team in the nation, the Roadrunners’ toughest opponent, Texas A&M, is still on the horizon. 

The first pitch against the No.3 ranked Aggies is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Blue Bell Park.

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About the Contributor
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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