Lumberjacks Come Up Short in Extra-Inning Heartbreaker
April 20, 2007
NACOGDOCHES - Jared Pitts had three hits and Steven Hill hit his league-leading 17th home run, but the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks left 14 runners stranded in a 7-6 extra-inning heartbreaker against the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners Friday afternoon from Jaycees Field in Nacogdoches. The Lumberjacks now have a 21-19 overall record and are 8-8 in Southland Conference play. The Roadrunners are 24-15 as they won their fourth straight game and extended their league-leading record to 14-2.
After Lumberjack starter Erich Lehmann gave up four runs off six hits in the top of the first inning, SFA answered back in the bottom half of the same inning. Zach Gardner led off with a single up the middle and advanced to second when Noel Trevino grounded out. After Steven Hill was issued a walk, he and Gardner moved over to second and third, respectively, on a wild pitch. Jared Pitts then took a free base to load the bases. The runners moved over a base on another wild pitch, scoring Gardner to put SFA within three at 4-1. Chris Smith then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to send Hill across the plate to cut the lead to 4-2. Pitts then scored off a Kevin Crabtree single through the left side to shorten the Roadrunners' lead to 4-3.
After Lehmann and UTSA starter Josh Ruffin allowed a combined seven runs off eight hits in the first inning, the pitchers only gave up one hit apiece through the next three innings. The score remained the same until the top of the fifth when the Trent Lockwood hit a one-out triple down the right field line. He scored when Zach Etheredge hit a single up the middle to extend the lead to 5-3.
But in the bottom of the fifth, Hill hit a solo home run over the left field wall to put the Lumberjacks back within one, 5-4. The home run was Hill's 17th of the year and his seventh in eight games. In two years as a Lumberjack, Hill has 31 dingers to tie for the career record at SFA.
The Lumberjacks were able to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Hill led off with an infield single to shortstop. He then moved over to second on a wild pitch. Hill scored the tying run off Pitts' left field double.
The score stayed tied at six, forcing extra innings. In the top of the 10th, Heath Konesheck came in to pitch for SFA. Konesheck got the first two out on a called strikeout and a pop up to shortstop. But Etheredge then put a single up the middle just before Mitch Ponza hit a two-run shot to left field to give UTSA the 7-5 edge.
In SFA's half of the 10th, Jeff Brewer led off with a single and advanced to third on two straight wild pitches. Noel Trevino then doubled to right center for the RBI and to shorten the lead to 7-6. With Hill representing the winning run and being third in the nation in home runs, UTSA put Hill on first with an intentional walk. Pitts then took first base on a walk to load the bases. With two outs, and the winning run on second base, Smith flew out to center field to give UTSA its SLC-leading 14th win.
Pitts collected three of SFA's 13 hits. He also scored a run and had an RBI. Hill, Brewer and Croft each had two hits while Hill scored three runs.
Konesheck took his third loss of the season after pitching two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs off three hits.
The Lumberjacks will look to bounce back Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. when they face UTSA in Game 2 of the three-game series from Jaycees Field.