UTSA clinches spot in C-USA tournament with victory at ODU

The UTSA Roadrunners have clinched a spot in the Conference USA baseball tournament.

UTSA assured itself of a chance to play for the C-USA’s postseason title by scoring an 11-3 victory Sunday at Old Dominion.

With the win, the Roadrunners took two of three in the series from the last-place Monarchs.

More importantly, in the long term, the win also settles UTSA’s travel plans for the last week of May.

UTSA will make the trip to Biloxi, Miss., as one of eight C-USA teams battling for the postseason title and the accompanying bid to the NCAA tournament.

Records

UTSA 28-21, 14-12
Old Dominion 15-33, 7-19

Highlights

Bryan Arias, a UTSA junior from Marshall, led off the game with his seventh home run of the season. The Roadrunners went on to score one run in the first inning, two in the second and one in the third for a 4-0 lead.

UTSA banged out 16 hits one day after getting shut out, 7-0, on a complete-game, five-hitter by ODU’s Morgan Maguire. Trent Bowles had three hits for UTSA, including his team-leading 16th double. He also stole his 14th base, which also leads the team.

Pitcher Chance Kirby enjoyed another quality start by pitching into the seventh inning and yielding two runs on seven hits. Kirby has eclipsed six innings pitched with two or fewer runs allowed in four straight games.

After picking up the win against Old Dominion, he improved his record to 5-4 with a team-best 2.93 earned run average.

Coming up

UTSA hosts Abilene Christian (non-conference) on Tuesday. UTSA completes the regular-season schedule next weekend with three home games against the C-USA’s Charlotte 49ers starting Thursday night.

The C-USA tournament is set for May 24-28 in Biloxi.

Old Dominion even series against UTSA with 7-0 victory

Morgan Maguire threw a complete-game shutout Saturday as the last-place Old Dominion Monarchs defeated UTSA 7-0 at Norfolk Va., in Conference USA baseball.

With the victory, Old Dominion evened the three-game series at one win apiece leading into Sunday’s series finale.

Maguire allowed five hits while striking out seven a day after UTSA pounded ODU pitching in an 11-1 victory.

For UTSA, it was the team’s fifth shutout loss of the season and first since April 8, when Louisiana Tech won 13-0 in San Antonio.

This one might sting a little more than usual.

The loss prevented the Roadrunners from winning the series on the second-to-last weekend of the regular season.

It also dropped them into a tie for fifth in the standings with FIU.

After Sunday’s series finale against ODU in Virginia, UTSA returns home to face Abilene Christian in nonconference play Tuesday.

The Roadrunners host the Charlotte 49ers in C-USA next weekend.

Records

Old Dominion — 15-32, 7-18
UTSA — 27-21, 13-12

B.J. Stith scores 36 as Old Dominion throttles UTSA, 100-62

UTSA coach Steve Henson looks forward to playing at last-place Charlotte on Saturday night and trying to find a spark.

Trying to start a new winning streak. Trying anything to forget about Thursday night in Norfolk, Virginia.

After B.J. Stith and the Old Dominion Monarchs dominated in a 100-62 victory, Henson seemed to have a hard time shaking the feeling of his team’s worst loss of the season.

“We can’t let this destroy what we’ve done the last few weeks,” Henson said on the team’s radio broadcast. “We’ve been doing good things. We just got man-handled tonight.

“It was grown men just taking us to school. We didn’t have much response to it.”

Stith produced a career-high 36 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Monarchs, who won their fourth in a row.

In winning their eighth game out of nine, Old Dominion improved to 20-5 overall and 11-2 in Conference USA.

Winners of four straight coming in, UTSA fell to 14-12 and 7-6.

The 38-point margin of defeat eclipsed a 24-point loss that UTSA suffered at Middle Tennessee on Jan. 25 as the worst of the season.

Stith made an early statement, hitting a three-pointer 20 seconds into the game and then scoring 28 by halftime.

By that time, the Monarchs were in charge, 52-36.

“He was just fantastic in the first half,” Henson said. “He was pretty good overall. He just had a real good rhythm going and got hot and made threes. Got to the free-throw line. Did a little bit of everything.”

Jackson breaks UTSA freshman record

UTSA guard Jhivvan Jackson moved up to No. 1 in the UTSA record books for points scored by a freshman, surpassing Devin Brown.

Jackson pumped in 22, giving him 488 for the season.

Brown, who later played in the NBA and won a championship ring with the Spurs, scored 483 for the Roadrunners in 1998-99.

Around the C-USA

The struggling Charlotte 49ers fell to 5-19 overall and 1-12 in the conference after an 87-86 home loss to UTEP.

After Thursday’s games, Middle Tennessee leads the C-USA at 13-1, followed by Old Dominion and Western Kentucky at 13-2. Marshall is fourth at 9-4.

UTSA and North Texas are tied for fifth at 7-6, while Louisiana Tech and Alabama-Birmingham are next at 7-7.

After that, it’s Southern Miss (6-8), Florida International (5-8), Florida Atlantic (4-9), UTEP (3-10), Rice (2-11) and Charlotte (1-12).

Nearly tournament time

The top four teams in the standings get a first-round bye in the C-USA tournament, set for March 7-10 at Frisco. The top 12 teams qualify.