Hill's Career Night Leads SFA Past Lions
March 18, 2007
HAMMOND, La. - Steven Hill was a triple away from hitting for the cycle as he hit a double and two home runs in a five-hit, seven-RBI performance in Stephen F. Austin's 15-11 Southland Conference come-from-behind win versus Southeastern Louisiana Sunday afternoon. The Lumberjacks were down 11-5 going into the seventh inning but scored 10 runs in the final two innings to come away with the victory. The win gives SFA a 12-12 overall record and a 1-2 SLC mark while Southeastern Louisiana falls to 16-6 on the year and 2-1 in SLC play.
The Lions had an early 2-0 lead Steven Hill hit the first of his two home runs - a two-run shot to center field - to tie the score in the fourth inning. Hill then broke the tie in the top of the fifth with another two-run home run for the 4-2 lead. But in the bottom of the fifth, Southeastern scored two runs to knot the score at four.
In the sixth, Zach Gardner hit his first home run of his Lumberjack career to give SFA a 5-4 edge. But SFA could not hold the Lions back, as they scored seven runs in the next two innings - two in the sixth and five in the seventh - for an 11-5 lead.
The Lumberjacks, who was 0-9 when trailing after seven innings going into today's game, changed that in the eighth. Jared Pitts started the inning with a single to right field and advanced to third on Justin Long's single to left center. Chris Smith then doubled down the left field line to score the base runners and shorten the Lions' lead to 11-7. With still no outs, Gardner singled to left field to move Smith to third. Smith scored on Kevin Croft's left field base hit. With one out, Noel Trevino loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch. Gardner and Croft scored when Hill hit a single to left center to put SFA within one, 11-10. Kevin Crabtree reached safely on a fielding error by the second baseman, which allowed Trevino to score from second base and give the game its third tied score of the afternoon, 11-11.
With two out, the bases loaded and the score still tied at 11, Hill singled through the left side to once again break the tie as Gardner scored from third to give SFA the 12-11 advantage. Then, on a fielding error by the Lions' third baseman, Trevino and Croft each scored a run to extend the lead to 14-11. After Hill moved to third on Pitts' infield single, he scored SFA's final run of the game to put the Lumberjacks up by four, 15-11.
In the ninth, Russ Fornea forced a groundout and collected a strikeout before giving up a single. But on the next play, the runner was out at second on a fielder's choice to shortstop to ensure a Lumberjack win.
Fornea, who pitched two innings of relief, gave up only one hit and struck out two in seven batters faced. He earned his first win of the year and sits with a 1-0 record.
Hill had a career night, posting five hits (5-6) and seven RBI. He was a triple away from the cycle as he hit his ninth double and his seventh and eighth home runs of the year.
Each Lumberjack starter collected at least one hit with Pitts and Gardner nabbing three apiece. Gardner was 3-of-4 with three runs scored and one RBI and Pitts was 3-for-5 with a run scored.
SFA will open its longest home stand of the season Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. versus Lamar at Jaycees Field.