Baseball: Roadrunners take a 2-2 record on the road against the Tarleton State Texans

Ty Tilson. UTSA beat UT-Arlington 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Third baseman Ty Tilson and the UTSA Roadrunners emerged from opening weekend with a 2-2 record. Sandwiched around a doubleheader sweep on Saturday were one-run losses Friday and Sunday. – File photo by Joe Alexander

Pat Hallmark’s UTSA Roadrunners are set to play on the road for the first time this season. They’ll be in Stephenville on Tuesday afternoon to take on the Tarleton State Texans. First pitch is at 4 p.m.

Records

UTSA 2-2
Tarleton 1-2

Opening weekend

Last weekend, Roadrunners split four games at home against the UT Arlington Mavericks. Tarleton played on the road and lost two of three to Southeastern Louisiana.

Coming up

UTSA will play three games this weekend in Sugar Land at the Sugar Land Classic. On Friday, they’ll face the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at 3 p.m. Saturday, they’ll meet the Creighton Bluejays at 11 a.m. On Sunday, the Roadrunners will close out the three game with a 2 p.m. contest against the Lamar Cardinals. Next Tuesday, on Feb. 27, they’ll play at the University of Houston at 3 p.m. UTSA returns home to Roadrunner Field on March 1-3 to face Grand Canyon (Ariz.).

Jenkins scores a season-high 29 as the UTSA women beat first-place North Texas, 66-63

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Fast-improving forward Jordyn Jenkins scored 12 of her season-high 29 points in the fourth quarter Sunday as the UTSA Roadrunners defeated another first-place team in the American Athletic Conference women’s basketball race, downing the North Texas Mean Green 66-63 at the Super Pit in Denton.

Jordyn Jenkins. UTSA beat Florida Atlantic 77-61 in Conference USA women's basketball on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at the Convocation Center. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA forward Jordyn Jenkins scored a season-high 29 points Sunday afternoon in her third game back after sitting out the first 21 in rehabilitation for a knee injury. – Photo by Joe Alexander

With the victory, UTSA (13-11, 7-6) split a two-game AAC road trip and swept a two-game, regular-season series against North Texas (19-6, 9-4).

UTSA, aided by 16 points from freshman guard Aysia Proctor and nine points and nine rebounds from junior center Elyssa Coleman, also improved to 4-0 on the season against first-place AAC teams. The Roadrunners are 3-0 at home and 1-0 on the road against squads leading in the standings.

The Mean Green were in first place both times they played the Roadrunners and were turned away twice in close games. On Jan. 31, UTSA won in its on-campus arena, downing North Texas 75-67 in overtime.

In that game, Jenkins had not yet been cleared to play. She sat out the first 21 games this season while rehabilitating a knee injury. Since her return, the Roadrunners have won two out of three, claiming the two victories against AAC contenders Alabama-Birmingham and now North Texas.

UTSA’s road win against its in-state rivals, at the Super Pit in Denton, may have been the team’s best of the season. The Mean Green had been 10-0 at home this season. They were also 5-0 in AAC games at home — until Jenkins, a high-scoring forward from Kent, Wash., showed up to play.

Jenkins hit 11 of 17 shots from the floor, including three of five from three-point distance. In the fourth period, she was at her best, hitting four for four from the floor and knocking down her only three-point attempt.

On one of her shots, she had the ball on the right side of the floor, about eight feet from the basket, when she turned and flipped in a left-handed scoop shot. The bucket gave UTSA a three-point lead with 40 seconds remaining.

Coming out of a time out, North Texas guard Dyani Robinson hit a shot to cut the UTSA lead to one. On the other end, Jenkins was fouled and sank two free throws with 27 seconds left for the game’s final points.

North Texas called time with 20 seconds left needing a three to tie. The Mean Green failed to get off a clean shot, as Shamaryah Duncan’s three from the right wing was deflected by UTSA’s Kyra White, clinching the victory for the Roadrunners.

Six-foot forward DesiRay Kernal paced North Texas with 16 points and 12 rebounds. As UNT’s top offensive threat, she wasn’t as effective as she has been, making five of 12 from the field. Another Mean Green threat, center Tommisha Lampkin, was hindered by foul trouble and played only 20 minutes. She finished with six points and six rebounds.

In the second and third quarters, the Mean Green started to play better team basketball. They hit six of 11 from the field and eight of nine at the free throw line in the second, outscoring the Roadrunners 21-16 in the period and taking a 34-30 lead at the intermission. After halftime, they came out energized and once again got the better of the visitors, opening the advantage to 52-46.

North Texas guard Jaauckland Moore made a three with three seconds remaining in the third, lifting the Eagles into their six-point lead.

Records

UTSA 13-11, 7-6
North Texas 19-6, 9-4

Coming up

Temple at UTSA, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Notable

After missing so much of the season, Jenkins is fast improving her conditioning. In her first two games, she played 11 minutes against UAB and 14 in a Wednesday-night loss at Tulsa. Against both UAB and Tulsa, she scored 11 in each game. Combined in those two games, she hit seven of 25 shots from the field. Jenkins followed with 24 minutes against North Texas and finished 11 of 17 from the floor. Her 29-point performance left the Mean Green faithful with long memories dismayed, as she scored 40 in the Super Pit last February in UTSA’s 68-67 overtime victory. The two games were played nearly one calendar year apart — from Feb. 20, 2023 to Feb. 18, 2024.

Temple snaps a 10-game losing streak by downing UTSA, 83-77, in AAC men’s basketball

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Leading by three with two minutes left, the Temple Owls broke it open down the stretch thanks to a Steve Settle three pointer, and then they went on to snap a 10-game losing streak with an 83-77 victory over the UTSA Roadrunners.

In an American Athletic Conference played game at Philadelphia, the Owls shot 45 percent from the field and knocked down eight threes to win for the first time since Jan. 7. UTSA has now dropped six straight and hasn’t won since Jan. 24.

Guard Hysier Miller scored 20 points to lead four Temple players in double figures. Settle finished with 16, followed by Jahlil White with 15 and Jordan Riley 12.

UTSA played the second half without floor leader Christian Tucker, who was disqualified just before halftime for leaving the bench area. Jordan Ivy-Curry led the Roadrunners with 22 points, five rebounds and three assists. PJ Carter hit three three-point baskets and finished with 13. Dre Fuller Jr. had 11 points and four rebounds.

The Roadrunners shot 42.7 percent from the floor and made six three-point baskets.

First half

In a blow to the Roadrunners’ chances to win, guard Christian Tucker was ejected just before halftime. It all started when Temple guard Hysier Miller was trapped in the corner adjacent to the UTSA bench. Guarded closely by Roadrunners’ guard Jordan Ivy-Curry, Miller pushed off. Ivy-Curry fell backward and went down on the floor.

Tucker, who was not in the game at the time, stood up in front of the bench. Then he came out on the court, extending his hand to help Ivy-Curry get up. But, by rule, he was ejected, leaving UTSA short-handed for the second half. The Roadrunners went into the dressing room leading 41-34 after Ivy-Curry hit a free throw awarded on a technical foul against Miller for pushing off.

Records

UTSA 2-11, 8-18
Temple 2-11, 9-17

Coming up

South Florida at UTSA, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

Notable

Christian Tucker had one point, two rebounds and two assists at the time of his ejection. For the season, he was averaging 12 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists.

Baumann’s walkoff winner lifts UTSA to a doubleheader sweep

Aiden Baumann delivers the winning hit, and the UTSA Roadrunners celebrate a 2-1 victory and a doubleheader sweep of UT Arlington. – Video by UTSA athletics

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

On a cold and blustery February afternoon in San Antonio, pinch hitter Aiden Baumann’s two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning scored the winning run Saturday in a 2-1 victory for the UTSA Roadrunners over the UT Arlington Mavericks.

With the win, UTSA swept a doubleheader on the second day of the season. UT Arlington won the season opener Friday night, holding on in the ninth inning to take a 10-9 decision.

In response, the Roadrunners bounced back to claim victory in the first game of the double dip Saturday, winning 7-2 in seven innings. After a short break to catch their breath, the two teams played again, this time in a nine-inning contest.

Zach Royse pumps his fist after striking out the final batter he faced. UTSA beat UT-Arlington 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Zach Royse pumps his fist after striking out the final batter he faced. UTSA beat UT Arlington 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Baumann, a part-time player in his first appearance of the season and in only the 10th appearance of his career, delivered with a hit to right field that ended the day’s proceedings, giving UTSA a 2-1 edge in the season-opening series.

The two teams will play the finale of the four-game set on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Roadrunner Field.

UTSA coach Pat Hallmark praised his players’ mental toughness in setting aside Friday night’s disappointment and responding with solid play, on a day with difficult weather conditions, to claim their first two wins of the season.

“It was a better day,” Hallmark said. “We just played tougher … You know, this game is not easy. Failure is part of it. Being able to fail and turn around and make the next play. All those little things.”

Someone asked Hallmark in the postgame about his team’s resilience.

“I said we were resilient today, but it’s (only) three games (into the season),” he said. “We need to be resilient 30 games into it. I hope we’re still as resilient (then) as we were today, and I think we will be. It’s a good sign.”

The first game of the day was highlighted by a few standout defensive plays, including one that featured second baseman Isaiah Walker leaping to catch a line drive and flipping the ball to second base to double off a runner, effectively taking away a couple of runs while ending the inning.

Third baseman Matt King also hit the highlight reel on a foul pop up that came down just outside the field of play. King dashed toward the falling spheroid on its descent, collided with a waist-high wall and made the catch while falling into an area where fans usually sit.

Ty Tilson. UTSA beat UT-Arlington 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s Ty Tilson takes a rip during an at bat in Game 2 .of Saturday’s doubleheader. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Starting pitcher Ruger Riojas earned the victory in allowing two runs in 5 and 2/3 innings of work. The sophomore from Wimberley struck out six while walking none.

In the second game, which started a little after 3 p.m., players, coaches and fans were fortunate that temperature rose into the high 40s on a sunny afternoon. But the wind whipped in from the northeast for the entire game, blowing so hard that it kept the flags fluttering constantly.

As for fans seated around the ball park in the shade, some huddled under blankets.

Others moved into sunny areas as the shadows extended. By the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, the rightfield berm became a popular gathering spot. Fans stood with hands plunged into coat pockets, watching as both teams moved ominously toward what looked like it might be a 1-1 tie going into extra innings.

The Roadrunners, however, had other ideas. With lefthander Austin Wallace entering the game in the ninth for Arlington, UTSA’s Mark Henning opened the inning with a line shot that got past third baseman Tate Bethel and down the line.

Arlington leftfielder Ryan Ellis tracked it down and fired into second base, but by that time, Henning had a full head of steam, and he dove into second base head first — well ahead of the throw — for a double.

At that point, Wallace retired James Taussig and Ty Tilson on fly ball outs, with fans gasping on each play.

Taussig’s line drive to right field might have been one of the hardest hit balls all afternoon. It was a rocket. But it went straight to rightfielder Tyson Pointer for the first out. Tilson followed by stroking a ball into right center that looked like it had a chance to fall, only to have centerfielder Garrison Berkley come sprinting toward it to make a sliding catch for out No. 2.

Broc Parmer. UTSA beat UT-Arlington 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Catcher Broc Parmer worked nine innings behind the plate in the second game of a doubleheader. – Photo by Joe Alexander

From there, Hallmark elected to send Baumann, a right-handed batter, to the plate to pinch hit for the left-side hitting Dalton Porter.

Baumann came through with only his third hit in a UTSA uniform to win the game. Fittingly, when he sliced it down the rightfield line, some drama ensued. Pointer ran hard and dove for it. Just as the ball hit into his glove, it popped out onto the grass.

As Henning rounded third, raced for the plate and touched home for the winning run, one gaggle of Arlington fans seemed transfixed on the nearly spectacular catch that wasn’t made. With the ball on the turf, they fell silent. Meanwhile, UTSA fans celebrated, and Roadrunners players dashed out of the dugout and onto the field to mob Baumann.

Baumann said it was almost like a blessing that the wind was blowing in so hard.

“If the wind’s not blowing like that, the ball is probably caught,” he said. “When the wind’s blowing in like that, there’s always a chance.”

Baumann said the walkoff game winner was his second in the last calendar year. The first came last summer when he was playing summer ball in Jefferson City, Mo. His hit on Sunday had a different feel.

“This feels great,” said Baumann, who once played for the New Braunfels High School Unicorns. “We’re really close as a team. I know we’ve got a lot of new guys. But we’ve been around each other since the fall, working hard together. This means a lot for this team.”

Zach Royse and Braylon Owens pitched well to hold Arlington down. Royse worked six innings and allowed only a run in the fifth inning. In the meantime, he kept Arlington batters off balance, allowing only three hits while striking out six and walking three. Owens, meanwhile, yielded two hits in three scoreless innings to earn the win in relief. He struck out three and walked one.

Braylon Owens pitched the final three innings in relief and earned the win. UTSA beat UT-Arlington 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Braylon Owens pitched three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win in a 2-1 victory over UT Arlington. – Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA’s defense late in the game was solid, particularly first baseman James Taussig, who deftly dug out a couple of balls on throws from the infield.

Records

UT Arlington 1-2
UTSA 2-1

Coming up

UT Arlington at UTSA, Sunday at 1 p.m.
UTSA at Tarleton State, Tuesday at 4 p.m.

A photographer’s eye view of the Roadrunners on opening night

Pat Hallmark. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Coach Pat Hallmark, in the blue shirt, pays a visit to the mound to make a point in Friday night’s season opener. – Photo by Joe Alexander .

The UTSA Roadrunners play the UT Arlington Mavericks in a doubleheader today, with a seven-inning game set for noon, followed by a nine-inning game that will start about 3 p.m. Arlington broke out to a couple of nine-run leads early in the season opener Friday night and then held on for a 10-9 victory. I wanted to share a package of photos by Joe Alexander. Here are some of his best images:

Relief pitcher Cooper Hrbacek. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Relief pitcher Cooper Hrbacek worked two scoreless innings in the opener to help the Roadrunners stay in the game. Hrbacek is from Abilene where he attended Wylie High School. He also played for McLennan College. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Hector Rodriguez. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Junior Hector Rodriguez joins the UTSA squad this season as a transfer from Galveston College. He played in high school at Houston Westside. – Photo by Joe Alexander.

Zane Spinn. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Shortstop Zane Spinn hails from Holland, Tex. He’s played in college at Temple JC and at Sam Houston State. – Photo by Joe Alexander.

Lorenzo Morresi. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Lorenzo Morresi, from Macerata, Italy, started at catcher for the Roadrunners. Morresi has played at New Mexico Junior College. He also represented Italy in the Haarlem Baseball Week in the Netherlands. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Starting pitcher Robert Orloski. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Hard-throwing pitcher Rob Orloski comes to UTSA from Middleton, Idaho. The Boston Red Sox selected him on the 20th round of the draft last summer. He elected to play at UTSA. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Alex Olivo. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Alex Olivo started in the opener as a designated hitter. Olivo also plays first base. He comes to UTSA from Texas Southern. He played previously at Deer Park HS and Ranger College. – Joe Alexander.

Feeling the opening-night blues: UTSA rally falls short, 10-9, to UT-Arlington

Caleb Hill (15) hit two home runs. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Caleb Hill (15) hit two homers to highlight a two-for-five performance with three runs scored and four RBIs against the UT Arlington Mavericks. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The second game of the the season can’t come soon enough for the UTSA Roadrunners.

Why? Because, in the opener on Friday night, the Roadrunners made a few too many mistakes early, got burned by three home runs and fell behind by nine on two different occasions.

In the end, the Roadrunners scored eight unanswered runs in a spirited rally led by Caleb Hill and Mason Lytle, only to fall in a heartbreaker, 10-9, to the UT Arlington Mavericks.

Starting pitcher Robert Orloski. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

UTSA starting pitcher Robert Orloski, a freshman, worked 3 and 2/3 innings and yielded six hits and six runs – four of them earned. He also walked only one and struck out five. – Photo by Joe Alexander

With Hill homering twice and Lytle making a grand UTSA debut by hitting a high-arc blast into the screen over the left field fence, the team nevertheless tasted defeat on what had been billed as a day of celebration, when officials welcomed fans into a remodeled Roadrunner Field.

The game just started off on a sour note all the way around for the Roadrunners, who watched as the Mavs built leads of 9-0 and 10-1.

They didn’t quit, though. A crowd announced at 785 started to generate noise when the home team erupted with three runs in the fifth, one in the sixth, three more in the seventh and one in the ninth.

Hill sparked the uprising by crushing a line drive to right center for a three-run homer in the fifth. Not to be outdone, Lytle hit a solo shot in the sixth. He nearly homered again in the seventh but it was caught at the wall for a sac fly RBI. In addition, Hill scorched a sky-scraper that landed well beyond the right field wall to lead off the ninth.

“It was good but it wasn’t enough,” UTSA coach Pat Hallmark said. “We just didn’t play very good (early). We got to play better. We looked hesitant and passive way too often, which can happen, especially in the first game of the season, with the nerves.

“I’m sure it was nerves, but you got to get over it,” the coach said. “I was disappointed in the way we played and I was disappointed in the way I coached. I need to be better, too.”

The Mavericks were just too good for the Roadrunners in the early innings. With UTSA giving the ball to highly-touted freshman pitcher Robert Orloski to start the opener, Arlington made him pay by smashing two home runs.

Orloski yielded six runs, four of them earned, in 3 and 2/3 innings to take the loss. Against Orloski, Ryan Black delivered a one-out homer in the first inning to make it 1-0. In the second inning, Parker Airhart led off by belting one out of the yard to make it 2-0.

Isaiah Walker. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Isaiah Walker batted leadoff, stroked two hits and scored twice in the season opener against UT Arlington . – Photo by Joe Alexander

In the third, Orloski was still throwing well but the game started to get away from him. Black, swinging from the left side, laced an RBI double down the left field line. A relay throw to the plate from UTSA shortstop Zane Spinn was overthrown, allowing Black to take third base on the play.

He scored a few moments later on a wild pitch for a 4-0 lead.

Fans who watched the Roadrunners win 38 games in each of the last two seasons seemed a bit stunned at the outburst, but the Mavericks weren’t finished.

Lifting Orloski with two outs and two runners on base in the fourth, the Roadrunners called on junior Ryan Beaird, and Garrison Berkley greeted him with a three-run blast to break the game open. Like Orloski, Beaird was throwing well and firing hard. But he grooved one, and Berkley smashed it over the wall for a 7-0 lead.

Later in the frame, the Mavs tacked on two more runs to take a commanding 9-0 lead.

Hallmark said he wasn’t displeased at all with the first outing for Orloski, who at this time last year was pitching in high school in Middleton, Idaho.

“He was OK,” the coach said. “The kid on their team, the (No.) 2 hole hitter, Black, is good. We knew he was good. The whole report was that this kid’s their best hitter, and he looked like it. So, I wasn’t disappointed in him getting hits off Rob.”

Not shy about throwing a high fastball, Orloski at times was impressive by inducing the Mavs into futile swings and misses. And yet other times, a couple of his mistakes proved costly. In the end, he pitched 3 and 2/3 innings and yielded six hits and six runs — four of them earned — while he walked one and struck out five

“Rob can pitch better,” Hallmark said. “I bet his strike percentage was somewhere around 58 percent, which is a little low. But he didn’t pitch poorly at all. I wasn’t disappointed at all with Rob. He was fine. He’ll be back out there.”

Hallmark tipped his cap to an old friend, Clay Van Hook, the UT Arlington coach who is in his second season with the Mavs. Years ago, both worked together as assistant coaches at Rice University under the Wayne Graham. Hallmark is also friends with Arlington assistant Mike Taylor.

“Mike and I go way back,” Hallmark said. “We played against each other. Both of them, they’re good baseball people. They bounced back last year. They won a bunch more games last year than they did the year before. He’s doing a good job. Clay knows baseball.”

Coming up

Saturday — UT Arlington at UTSA. Doubleheader. First game starts at noon.
Sunday — UT Arlington at UTSA, 1 p.m.

Mason Lytle. UTSA lost to UT-Arlington 10-9 in the Roadrunners' baseball season opener on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

Mason Lytle made his UTSA debut a memorable one by smashing a high-arc home run into the screen over the left field wall. – Photo by Joe Alexander

Opening day: UTSA baseball coach on the lookout for ‘hunger and determination’ in his players

UTSA baseball media day and practice on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

The UTSA Roadrunners will open a new baseball season at home today against the UT Arlington Mavericks. First pitch is at 4 p.m. – Photo by Joe Alexander

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Over the past few seasons, baseball players at UTSA didn’t always match up in talent with the players they were tasked with defeating.

The one thing they did have was a core of leaders that embraced competition so eagerly and so completely, that the Roadrunners won 38 games in each of the past two years.

With that, UTSA athletes also won the undying respect of their coach, Pat Hallmark.

In retrospect, Hallmark will tell anyone who will listen that those two intangibles — a hunger to compete and a determination not to lose — are foundational to any winning program.

Two years ago, players such as Johnny Tapia and Ryan Flores just didn’t want to concede defeat. Same thing last year. With Luke Malone and Simon Miller and others, the Roadrunners found inspiration to play at a higher level.

With a new UTSA baseball season dawning today, all four of those players and others have moved on in their lives and in their careers, which is a bit unsettling for the coach.

Why? Because even though he knows he will have quite a bit of talent at his disposal this weekend against UT Arlington and in the coming months, he doesn’t know for sure whether his new players will have the essentials.

In other words, the hunger and the determination.

“We’ve certainly seen some signs of that,” Hallmark said a few days ago. “But until you get someone with a different color uniform that kind of hates your guts and wants to take something away from you, you don’t really know. So, we’ll find that out starting Friday.”

“It’ll take a little time to figure that out, who likes that confrontation.”

Through fall practices and conditioning, the coach said he can’t always tell who will bring the intangibles to the table.

“We’re about to play some people that don’t want the best for us,” he said. “And, likewise. We need to find 10, 11 guys that enjoy that (confrontation). That’s what we’ve had the last couple of years.”

Will it manifest itself today? The coach will be watching.

Coming up

Game 1 — UT Arlington at UTSA, 4 p.m. today.
Games 2 and 3 — UT Arlington at UTSA, doubleheader, with the first game at noon on Saturday.
Game 4 — UT Arlington at UTSA, 1 p.m. Sunday.

Notable

Pitching rotation: For UT Arlington — Zach Norris (2-2, 4.63 ERA last season) today. On Saturday, it’s Aaron Calhoun (0-1, 8.16 last season at Oklahoma) in the first game and then Caylon Dygert, a freshman, in the second game. Sunday’s starter is TBA. For UTSA — Freshman Robert Orloski today. On Saturday, Ruger Riojas (5-0, 4.11) in the first game and then Zach Royse (0-1, 9.58). On Sunday, TBA.

Outfielder Mason Lytle, a University of Oregon transfer, has opened eyes with his athleticism. But he’s not the only outfielder on the UTSA roster with speed and ability. Both Isaiah Walker and Tye Odom can run and track the ball, as well.

James Taussig. UTSA baseball media day and practice on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, at Roadrunner Field. - Photo by Joe Alexander

James Taussig is expected to bring some home-run power to the Roadrunners this season. – Photo by Joe Alexander

“I would say this is a very athletic outfield,” third baseman Matt King said. “We have depth, whether it’s starters or the guys coming off the bench. I think they’re all athletic. They’re all going to make some plays. They can all play defense. So, yeah, outfield defense is something we should not have to worry about.”

Who will have home-run power? Among the newcomers, keep an eye on first baseman / designated hitter Alexander Olivo, infielder/outfielder James Taussig and infielder Zane Spinn. Also, among returning players, both King and Caleb Hill have both shown the ability to send the ball out of the yard.

Olivo may be the one to watch in the power department. He produced 13 homers and a .706 slugging percentage last year at Texas Southern. In addition, Taussig is known around the batting cage for exit velocity of more than 100 mph, tops on the team.

Charlotte wins 79-70 and hands UTSA its fifth straight loss

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Playing a slow-down game in their home arena, the Charlotte 49ers emerged Thursday night with a 79-70 victory over UTSA, handing the Roadrunners their season-high fifth straight loss.

The surprising 49ers, who are nothing if not masters of a methodical pace, nearly led the game wire to wire.

The score was tied briefly at 10-10 early in the first half. But other than that, the 49ers kept the Roadrunners at arms length, and they won again to keep a promising season alive in front of the home fans at Halton Arena.

Center Dishon Jackson led the 49ers with 19 points.

Guard Lu’Cye Patterson had 17 and Nik Graves 12 as Charlotte won its second straight and remained in contention for the American Athletic Conference title. The 49ers played solid defense for most of the game, shot 48 percent from the field and marched to their 10th win in their last 11.

As a result, a log-jam remained at the top of the AAC standings, with South Florida leading the 14-team pack at 11-1, followed by Charlotte and 24th-ranked Florida Atlantic tied for second at 10-2. Not bad for a Charlotte team picked in the preseason poll to finish 13th.

For UTSA, the frustration continued.

The Roadrunners aren’t anywhere near the league leaders and haven’t won since Jan. 24, at home against Tulane. Since then, they have fallen, in succession, to South Florida, Rice, Wichita State, East Carolina and now Charlotte. Consequently, they’re tied for 12th place with Wichita State at 2-10, ahead of only the Temple Owls, who are 1-11.

UTSA had its moments against Charlotte. At the end of the first half, they rode the hot shooting of PJ Carter and whittled what had been a 13-point deficit to two at the break. But after intermission, UTSA went cold and stayed cold for the rest of the game, shooting a second-half field goal percentage of only 25.7 percent.

Carter emerged as the only legitimate scoring threat on the night with a career-high 22 points. Even then, the 49ers bottled him up after halftime, holding him to only three points the rest of the way. Christian Tucker had 13 and Dre Fuller Jr. 11. Both made some plays down the stretch, but they weren’t enough.

Jordan Ivy-Curry, UTSA’s leading scorer, couldn’t find a rhythm for the second time in his last three outings. He scored five points on 2 of 10 shooting, nearly matching his 1 for 10 effort from a few games ago against the Wichita State Shockers.

Ivy-Curry wasn’t alone in his struggles. Seven-foot center Carlton Linguard Jr. finished 2 for 9 and scored four points. Guard Adante’ Holiman shot 0 for 3 and went scoreless.

In the first game between the two this season, played at San Antonio, the 49ers won 66-58.

“We played better,” UTSA coach Steve Henson told Andy Everett on the school’s radio broadcast. “In the first half, to put up 44 on them is a pretty big accomplishment. They’re a really good defensive team. (With their) pace of play, that was a lot of points to put up.

“I thought like we looked like ourselves in the first half. Ball was moving pretty good. Beginning of the game, they had a pretty good flow going. We kept telling out guys, ‘Just hang in there.’ And all of a sudden, we felt like our guys turned it up defensively a little bit.”

Henson said even though UTSA didn’t shoot well in the second half, he felt good about his players’ competitive spirit to the final buzzer. “It was one of our better overall efforts in terms of intensity,” he said.

Records

UTSA 8-17, 2-10
Charlotte 16-8, 10-2

Coming up

UTSA at Temple, Sunday, 1 p.m.

Taking a look at San Antonio-area players in NCAA Division I baseball

Editor’s note: With college baseball starting this week, here is a list of athletes from the San Antonio area playing in NCAA Division I programs. I’ll be updating when new information comes to light. Major college players of note include TCU infielder Anthony Silva and two players at Texas, outfielder Porter Brown and infielder Jalin Flores. Both Silva and Brown made the preseason All-Big 12 team.

UTSA

Ryan Beaird, junior right-handed pitcher from Reagan HS
Ruger Riojas, sophomore right-handed pitcher from Wimberley HS
Ryan Ward, senior right-handed pitcher from Clemens HS
Barrett Johnson, freshman right-handed pitcher from Johnson HS
Whitt Joyce, freshman catcher from Medina Valley HS
Ryan Jester, freshman left-handed pitcher from Bracken Christian HS
Aiden Baumann, sophomore outfielder from New Braunfels HS

Texas State

Ryne Farber, freshman infielder from Johnson HS
August Ramirez, redshirt senior catcher from O’Connor HS, Cisco College
Colten Drake, redshirt junior left-handed pitcher from Kerrville Tivy, Blinn JC
Rashawn Galloway, sophomore catcher from Boerne HS
Tyler Garritano, freshman infielder from Boerne HS
DJ Burke, senior right-handed pitcher from Clark HS, Garden City, San Jacinto JC, Texas
Matthew Tippie, junior right-handed pitcher from Wimberley HS, Angelina College

Incarnate Word

Isaiah Zavala, graduate student right-handed pitcher from Southwest HS
EJ Garcia, sophomore right-handed pitcher from New Braunfels Canyon HS
AJ Herrera, freshman catcher from Central Catholic HS
Rey Mendoza, graduate student outfielder from Eagle Pass HS, University of Houston
Edward Mendoza, junior right-handed pitcher from Eagle Pass HS
Julio Riggs, graduate student infielder from Boerne HS

Texas

Porter Brown, redshirt senior outfielder from Reagan HS, TCU
Jalin Flores, sophomore infielder from Brandeis HS

Texas A&M

Zane Badmaev, redshirt senior right-handed pitcher from Boerne HS, Tarleton State

TCU

Anthony Silva, sophomore infielder from Clark HS
Luke Boyers, senior outfielder from Boerne Champion HS
Cohen Feser, junior right-handed pitcher from Reagan HS
Mason Bixby, freshman right-handed pitcher from Johnson HS

Baylor

Andrew Petrowski, redshirt junior right-handed pitcher from Clark HS, Garden City College, San Jacinto College
Jackson Elizondo, freshman left-handed pitcher from Smithson Valley HS

Kansas State

Preston Martinez, junior right-handed pitcher from Johnson HS, Dyersburg State College (Tenn.)

Rice

Kyte McDonald, graduate outfielder from Antonian College Prep, Mississippi State, Alvin CC and Wichita State.

Arkansas

Hunter Grimes, redshirt senior outfielder from Kerrville Tivy HS, UTSA and McLennan CC

Oklahoma

Rocco Garza-Gongora, sophomore infielder/outfielder from Laredo Alexander HS
Will Carsten, senior right-handed pitcher from Reagan HS, McLennan Community College

Georgia

Clayton Chadwick, graduate student outfielder from La Vernia, Sam Houston State

Duke

Edward Hart, sophomore left-handed pitcher from Alamo Heights

Tarleton State

Jake Burcham, junior right-handed pitcher from Reagan HS

Wichita State

Camden Johnson, freshman infielder from Boerne HS

Houston Christian

Jarek Wells, senior pitcher/outfielder from Smithson Valley HS and Midland College
Dylan LaRue, sophomore catcher from Blanco HS
Tyler LaRue, senior catcher from Blanco HS, Rice University and Grayson College
Lance Berkman, head coach, from New Braunfels Canyon

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Chance Reisdorph, junior catcher from New Braunfels Canyon HS
Cole Modgling, redshirt senior outfielder from Medina Valley, Northeast Texas CC
Evans Hendricks, senior left-handed pitcher from Navarro HS, and Temple Junior College
Zach Garcia, junior left-handed pitcher from New Braunfels HS
Alberto Santos IV, freshman right-handed pitcher from San Marcos HS
xScott Malone, head coach, former assistant coach at UTSA

UT-Rio Grande Valley

Matt Mendez, redshirt freshman infielder from Del Rio HS
Evan Janner, freshman outfielder from New Braunfels Canyon HS
Francisco Hernandez, redshirt junior right-handed pitcher from Laredo Alexander HS, San Jacinto College

Stephen F. Austin

Cal Martin, senior infielder from Reagan HS

Notable

Outfielder Kasen Wells, considered the top player in the San Antonio area in 2022 at Smithson Valley HS, is on the roster at Weatherford College after playing as a freshman last season at Texas A&M.

Down by 13 at home, Tulsa rallies late to beat UTSA, 74-70

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

Temira Poindexter and Mady Cartwright sparked a huge fourth-quarter rally Wednesday night as the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, playing at home, stormed from behind to edge the upset-minded UTSA Roadrunners, 74-70.

In an American Athletic Conference women’s basketball thriller, the Roadrunners fell behind by nine points in the first half, but then started to play well and steadily built what evolved in a 13-point lead with seven minutes remaining in the game.

At that point, the Golden Hurricane heated up and turned the game around with a 20-3 run over the next six and a half minutes. When Poindexter hit two free throws with 29 seconds left, the Golden Hurricane’s lead ticked up to four points at 73-69.

On the other end, UTSA’s Madison Cockrell missed a three with 16 seconds left. The rebound went to forward Idara Udo, who was fouled, and she hit one free throw to make it a three-point game.

On her one miss, Kyra White grabbed the offensive rebound to give the Roadrunners hope, but she also missed a three with 13 seconds remaining. For Tulsa, Katia Gallegos responded by driving, drawing a foul and knocking down one free throw with seven seconds left for the final point.

With the win, Tulsa (18-7 overall, 8-4 in the American) registered a possible momentum-turning victory after losing two of its last three. UTSA (12-11, 6-6) came into the game feeling good, winning at home Sunday and knocking the UAB Blazers out of first place.

Now the Roadrunners face a Sunday afternoon road game against the AAC heavyweight North Texas Mean Green. UTSA coach Karen Aston said on the postgame radio show that her team let one get away against Tulsa.

“We didn’t manage the clock very well,” she said. “We started shooting too quick … just didn’t have an understanding that we have four and a half minutes left. We needed to move the ball and make them play a little bit longer. Youth played a part in that, but credit to Tulsa. They did what they had to do to win.”

The story of the game was the fourth-quarter rally by the Golden Hurricane. During the 20-3 run, Poindexter, a 6-foot-1 junior from Sapulpa, Okla., took over. She scored eight points in the stretch. Cartwright also contributed during the run with six points.

For the game, Poindexter led the Golden Hurricane with 20 points. Guard Delanie Crawford added 15 and Cartwright had 13. Together the threesome knocked down seven of Tulsa’s nine three-point baskets. Tulsa shot 50 percent from the field for the game, including 55 percent in the fourth period.

UTSA’s backcourt of Sidney Love and Kyra White led the Roadrunners in scoring. Love totaled 16 points and White had 15. Forwards Jordyn Jenkins and Idara Udo had 11 points apiece. Jenkins, in her second game back after sitting out most of the season, also had seven rebounds. Freshman guard Aysia Proctor scored 10.

Generally, UTSA played well on the road on the home floor of one of the better teams in the conference. From midway through the second quarter to midway through the fourth, the Roadrunners went on an extended roll, outscoring the Golden Hurricane 40-18.

Records

UTSA 12-11, 6-6
Tulsa 18-7, 8-4

Coming up

UTSA at North Texas, Sunday, 2 p.m.

First quarter

Tulsa’s Caranda Perea hit a long jumper and a three-pointer in the last minute of the first quarter. Capping a hectic period, UTSA’s Kyra White followed a missed shot with a three of her own. Tulsa emerged with a 22-19 lead going into the second,

Second quarter

Playing fast and running the break, the Golden Hurricane pushed out to a couple of nine-point leads before the Roadrunners rallied at the end. Sidney Love missed a jumper in the final seconds as UTSA went into the dressing room down by only four at 38-34.

Guard Delanie Crawford sparked Tulsa in the half with a team-high 12 points and seven rebounds and three assists. Temira Poindexter had eight points on three of six shooting.

For UTSA, freshman Idara Udo had eight points and four boards. Also, Sidney Love had seven points and Jordyn Jenkins, in her second game back after sitting out the first 21 in knee rehabilitation, scored six.

Third quarter

UTSA stepped up the defensive pressure and started forcing turnovers. Meanwhile, Sidney Love and Kyra White started to turn it on offensively. The Roadrunners outscored the Golden Hurricane 21-13 in the period.

A highlight came late when Maya Linton got a steal on one end. On the other, Kyra White dribbled down court on the break, made a Euro-step move at the bucket and twisted in a layup. The Roadrunners will take a 55-51 lead into the fourth quarter.