Robert Pistocchi/ The Paisano
On Friday, Feb. 13, the UTSA Roadrunners (2-1) were led offensively by unfamiliar faces freshmenTrent Bowles and Skyler Valentine in the 8-5 season opening victory against the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (1-2). Five new Roadrunners saw action in Friday night’s ballgame, with Bowles, Valentine and first baseman Ben Brookover getting their first collegiate starts. Junior college transfers Kevin Markham and Tyler Straub were penciled into the starting lineup as well.
“It was fun to watch tonight and finally settle into the game. We were playing a lot of young kids tonight and everybody’s going to be nervous, especially in their first college game,” said UTSA Head Coach Jason Marshall.
Junior ace Brock Hartson got the opening pitching assignment, giving up three earned runs and seven hits over 4.2 innings.
“I think Brock Hartson is living ‘Pepto Bismol’ for the entire dugout because he keeps you in the game and settles you in and allows our hitters to get past the nerves,” Marshall said.
Senior captain John Bormann powered the Runners offense, going 3-for-4 with four RBI’s.
“I feel great and I have a lot of confidence up there,” Bormann said.
The two teams exchanged the lead a total of four times throughout the contest.
“We made some errors on the right side, which is where all of our freshmen are. So I just called them to the mound and told them take a deep breath because we got a lot of ball game left… The freshman ended up having a really good night,” said Bormann.
Bouncing back from an 8-2 loss on Saturday to the Ragin’ Cajuns, the Runners won the series finale against them on Sunday afternoon 11-5.
Senior pitcher Cody Brannon was on the bump for UTSA, scattering three runs on five hits over 3.1 innings. However, UTSA junior pitcher Patrick Herbelin earned the win, hurling 4.1 strong innings to complete the ballgame.
“(Herbelin) was the MVP of the weekend, no doubt. He throws lots of strikes and can really spin that breaking ball,” said Marshall.
Markham belted his second homerun of the season to start off the contest while batting out of the leadoff spot. The Roadrunners offense hit a grand total of six during the three-game stretch.
“I guess it was the breakfast they gave us,” said Markham with a laugh speaking about his early success.
The UTSA Roadrunners travel up to Austin for a date against the Texas Longhorns on Tuesday, February 17, at 6 p.m.