Lions Spoil SFA Rally With Walkoff Win
April 26, 2012
PINE BLUFF, Ark. - The Lumberjacks erased a four-run deficit with a six-run top of the ninth, but Arkansas-Pine Bluff responded with a three-run bottom half, including a walk-off single from Sherman Thomas to give the Lions a 10-9 win on Wednesday at the Torii Hunter Baseball Complex.
SFA (16-25) trailed UAPB (7-32) 7-3 going into the ninth, but drew three consecutive leadoff walks to open the inning and eventually tied the game on a two-run single from Jordon Lenaburg before Chris Hernandez put the `Jacks ahead with a double to center field. Corey Bartkowiak added an insurance run with an RBi single, but the Lions answered by putting five of their six hitters on base in the ninth, tying the game on a single from Jacob Whitney before Thomas sent a 0-1 ground ball through the right side of the infield to score the winning run from second base.
Cass Ingvardsen took the loss in his first decision of the season, allowing four runs in just 1.1 innings of work and three of the Lions' 15 hits on the day. Elliott Jackson moved to 2-0 on the mound for UAPB, despite allowing three runs before registering three outs in SFA's six-run ninth.
Hunter Dozier and Chris Hernandez each had three hits on the day for the `Jacks, who utilized 16 position players and six pitchers in the midweek affair. Dozier finished with a double and an RBI, both coming in the top of the ninth, while Hernandez picked up a pair of doubles and three RBI.
Cody Demara led the Lion offense, scoring twice with a pair of hits and driving in a game-high four runs.
The Golden Lions got on the board first when Sean Samsa tripled with one out in the first inning, scoring one batter later on a sacrifice fly from Demara against SFA starter Kevin Bishop. SFA tied it up two innings later on a two-out RBI single from Rene' Moreda that scored Ricardo Sanchez; however, the Lions got the run back in the bottom half on an RBI single from Christian Weeber.
Hernandez knotted the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth with a hustle double off of Lion starter Vince Newton into shallow right-center field that managed to score Dozier all the way from first base with two outs.
UAPB retook the lead once again in the top of the fifth with the first of consecutive two-run innings, taking advantage of a pair of SFA errors to score a pair of runs on just two singles. An inning later they took advantage of a walk and a hit batter with two more singles to open up a 6-2 lead on a two-run single from Demara.
After Brett Higginbotham tossed a scoreless seventh, the teams traded runs in the eighth with the `Jacks scoring on an RBI single from Hernandez and the Lions on one from Cornelius Williams.
The SFA offense then finally sustained a rally in the ninth to take the lead as Max Lamantia, Rory Myers and Fola Lajide each drew consecutive walks from reliever Leo Fuentes to quickly load the bases with nobody out in the Lumberjacks' final at-bat. Jackson entered for the Lions and promptly got a deep sacrifice fly from Michael Ruiz to score a run before Dozier ripped the first pitch he saw into the left-field corner for an RBI double to cut the lead to 7-5. Adam Mann then loaded the bases again with a four-pitch walk and Lenaburg shot a sure single through the right side of the infield to plate the tying runs.
Hernandez then put the `Jacks in front with a dying line drive to center field that rolled by a diving Williams in center field, allowing Lenaburg to score from first base. Bartkowiak then hammered a single off of Chazz Montgomery's glove at second base for his first RBI of the year, giving SFA what looked to be a comfortable 9-7 lead with three outs remaining.
But Ingvardsen hit the first batter of the ninth and put the tying run on base two batters later with a walk before James Boulware cut the lead in half with a single to shallow left-center field. The `Jacks then brought Dozier to the mound, but the sophomore did not retire either of the two batters he faced, throwing just four pitches in surrendering consecutive singles to Whitney and Thomas to end the game.
SFA will next take on UT Arlington in a three-game series in Nacogdoches beginning Friday at 3:00 p.m. at Jaycees Field.