UTSA baseball‘s season ends with elimination from NCAA tournament


Photo Courtesy of Arnold Alcantar

Riding a seven-game winning streak that included a WAC Championship, UTSA was only two outs away on Friday, May 31, from securing the biggest upset of the 2013 NCAA baseball tournament. The ‘Runners were ahead of the countries No. 3 ranked Oregon State Beavers at Goss Stadium in Corvallis, Ore. 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth. Unfortunately, the Beavers were able to get a game-winning RBI double from right fielder Dylan Davis, resulting in a 5-4 loss for the ‘Runners.

“This was a tough way to lose,” UTSA head coach Jason Marshall said. “This one is going to sting for a while.”

Nolan Trabanino, UTSA’s starting pitcher, set the defensive tempo by holding the Beavers to seven hits and three runs in five innings. UTSA relief pitcher Matt Simms, the 2013 WAC tournament MVP, substituted for Trabanino in the sixth inning and pitched 3 1/3 innings. He performed well until the ninth inning, when he walked the lead-off batter and hit a batter with a pitch eventually leading to the Davis winning double.

UTSA had the lead through multiple innings and seemed to be in the driver’s seat with a 1-0 lead after a first inning RBI single by Roadrunners’ designated hitter, Tony Ramirez. In the top of the seventh inning, UTSA had fallen behind 3-2 when ‘Runners third baseman RJ Perucki singled in left fielder Riley Good to tie the game. In the eighth inning, UTSA regained the lead when the Beavers made consecutive fielding errors, allowing second baseman Jesse Baker to score.

“The big thing coming into today for this ball club was that we haven’t been in this situation before,” Marshall said. “None of these players have been to a regional tournament, so it meant a lot to have poise, handle the situation and atmosphere while playing a good opponent.”

The team was not deterred by the loss and understood the value of taking a top school to the limits.

“I told the guys that I love them and appreciate just how hard they played,” Marshall said. “I think that you have seen the character of our team today.”

UTSA had another opportunity to stay alive in the Corvallis Region tournament play, but was unceremoniously eliminated on Saturday, June 1, in a 6-1 loss against the Texas A&M Aggies in an elimination game. The NCAA’s first round is a regional double-elimination series, and with the two losses UTSA ended their run in the Corvallis Regional.

The ‘Runners had freshman right-hander Brock Hartson on the mound to face the Aggies but he was taken out of the game after 4 1/3 innings where he allowed five runs on nine hits. UTSA was down only 2-1 heading into the fifth inning, when Texas A&M exploded with four hits that scored three runs, essentially putting the game out of reach. The Roadrunners could scatter only five hits on–– the day, with the only run coming from an RBI single by Perucki.

Despite the losses, Perucki was able to capture how the coaching staff has changed the culture of Roadrunners baseball.

“It’s definitely more passion than anything. Coach Marshall is one of the most passionate guys that I have ever met in my life. When you have a leader like that, it is easy to come out every day to work hard and compete with people he brought in,” Perucki said. “Having leaders like that around your program will definitely get you going the right way.”