SAN ANTONIO, TX (WDAM) - After taking a thorough thrashing from the University of Texas-San Antonio Friday night, it appeared Saturday that the University of Southern Mississippi had evened up its Conference USA baseball series.
Then, in a seeming flash, it hadn’t.
With the Roadrunners down to their final out, bases loaded and trailing by two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Bryan Sturges bee-beed a single into right-center field to tie the game.
Then, when the throw back into the infield went awry, UTSA walked off with a 6-5 victory as well as its first C-USA series victory over the Golden Eagles since 2015.
The Golden Eagles (16-8, 6-2 C-USA), who had carried an eight-game winning streak into Roadrunner Field, lost consecutive games for the first time since March 1-2. USM lost its first C-USA baseball series since May 11-13, 2018, series with visiting Louisiana Tech University.
UTSA (13-14, 5-3) led 2-0 after four innings, scoring single runs in both the first and second innings off USM starter Adam Jackson.
Mason Strickland relieved in the third inning and gave the Golden Eagles a chance, turning in six innings, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out two and walking two.
USM took its first lead of the series in the third inning when Danny Lynch doubled and then scored when Will McGillis’ sacrifice bunt was thrown away at first base.
Matt Guidry tripled into the left-center field gap to score McGillis and tie the game before scoring on a passed ball to give the Golden Eagles a 3-2 lead.
Ryan Stacy greeted Strickland with a triple into left-center himself to lead off the bottom of the third inning, and Stacy scored on Dylan Rock’s sacrifice fly to tie the game.
Lynch, who finished with a double and two singles, put the Golden Eagles right back ahead in the top of the sixth inning when he drove in Matt Wallner with two outs to give USM a 4-3 lead.
Lynch slapped another two-out single through the hole at shortstop in the eighth inning to make the score 5-3.
That was the situation going into the bottom of the ninth when Strickland walked Jonathan Tapia on a 3-1 count.
Strickland was lifted in favor of Hunter Stanley, who got pinch-hitter Layton Barry to bounce into a force play at second base for the inning’s first out.
Stanley, who walked Bryan Arias on 3-2 count to put at first and second with one out, was removed in favor of left-hander Ryan Och (1-3).
Och got Ryan Stacy looking at a third strike for the second out, but then could only watch as Rock dribbled a single into no-man’s land on the right side of the infield to load the bases. Two pitches later Och could only head to USM’s dugout.
Jake Harrison (1-0), UTSA’s fourth pitcher, recorded a strikeout in a scoreless inning to pick up the win.
The teams will wrap up the series at 1 p.m.