SFA Comes Back to Take 10-8 Win from Bears
March 31, 2007
NACOGDOCHES - With two-out, runners on second and third and the score tied at eight, senior third baseman Chris Smith hit a single up the middle to score both runners and give the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks a 10-8 win over the Central Arkansas Bears. The win is the Lumberjacks' fourth straight and matches a season high win streak. SFA is now 16-14 on the year and an even 4-4 in Southland Conference action. UCA falls to 11-15 overall and is 1-7 in league play.
The Bears scored their first run in the top of the second when Chris Houk scored from third on a single up the middle from Zack Dickson. But the Lumberjacks responded with five runs of their own in the bottom of the same inning. Smith started the inning reaching first after he was hit by a pitch from UCA's Matt Whitaker. Smith advanced to second base when Whitaker overthrew the ball to the first baseman in attempt to get Smith picked off. Smith tied the score at one when he crossed the plate on Kevin Crabtree's double down the left field line. Justin Long then moved Crabtree over to third on a sacrifice fly to center field. Justin Roland laid down a bunt and was safe at first, but Crabtree was out at home on the play. With one on, Kevin Croft sent his fifth home run over the left field wall to put SFA up, 3-1. Following the home run, Whitaker issued a walk to Zach Gardner. Noel Trevino hit a single to left field but advanced to second on an error by the Bears' left fielder, allowing Gardner to score SFA's fourth run. But the Lumberjacks were not done as Steven Hill singled to left field to send Trevino across the plate for the 5-1 lead.
UCA cut SFA's lead to just one in the top of the third, starting with Craig Nyborg's solo home run to lead off the inning. With two out, Derrick Corso, who was on second, scored on a throwing error from SFA's Smith. Jonathan Ashworth had advanced to second on the error and scored when Dickson singled through the left side to come within one at 5-4.
In the fourth inning, the Lumberjacks added an insurance run. Gardner led off the inning with a double to left field and advanced to third on Trevino's center field sac fly. Gardner scored his second run of the game on Hill's foul out to right field to extend SFA's lead to 6-4.
But in the sixth inning, the Bears took the lead. Dickson led off with a right field double before Scott Cline was issued a walk. Payton Seelinger then put down a bunt towards third base to load the bases. With no outs on the board, Nyborg hit a grand slam, his second home run of the game, to put the Bears ahead, 8-4.
SFA answered back in the bottom of the same inning. Gardner led off with a walk and advanced to third when Trevino doubled down the left field line. Jared Pitts then singled up the middle to score both runners and tie the score at eight.
Lumberjack reliever Russ Fornea was able to keep UCA from scoring in the seventh and eighth innings before Smith broke the tie with his two-RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, giving SFA the 10-8 lead.
In the top of the ninth, Houk led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch from Fornea. Richard Folmer, who was entering his second save situation in as many days, relieved Fornea. Folmer struck out the next two batters before getting Kent Taylor to fly out to left field for the SFA win and his second save of the weekend.
Fornea earned his second win of the season and Folmer collected his second save of the year. Fornea pitched three innings, giving up two hits and two walks and striking out a season high five batters.
At the plate, Trevino and Smith each collected two hits. Smith was also one of four Lumberjacks to drive in two runs. Hill, Pitts, and Croft each had two RBI. Trevino scored three runs and Gardner led both teams with four runs scored.
The Lumberjacks wore lime green jerseys in support of the fight against Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a fight currently being battled by SFA softball player Krystil Burney. She was on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch with her brother, Justin, a member of the SFA baseball team behind the plate. With Lumberjack cancer survivors Justin Roland and Jeff Brewer standing behind her, Krystil held her glove over her mouth and shook off the signs from Justin before throwing the pitch.
SFA will look to complete the sweep of UCA Sunday at 1 p.m. from Jaycees Field.