UTSA players applaud teammate Ben Brookover as he rounds the bases following a three-run homer in the opener of a doubleheader Friday against FIU.
FIU freshman Logan Allen got a second chance to beat the UTSA Roadrunners on Friday night, and he didn’t waste it.
Coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter, Allen belted a solo homer in the eighth inning to boost the Golden Panthers to a 2-1 victory and a split of a Conference USA baseball doubleheader at Roadrunner Field.
UTSA won the first game, 12-4, saddling Allen with the loss as the starting pitcher.
Game 1 recap
Senior Ben Brookover and junior Ryan Stacy smashed three-run homers, lifting UTSA to its 20th victory of the season.
Brookover delivered in the fifth inning as UTSA rallied from a two-run deficit and into a 4-3 lead.
Batting from the left side, Stacy sliced a twisting shot over the left-field wall to highlight a six-run eighth, turning the game into a run-away.
“Just glad we were able to extend the lead in the first game,” UTSA coach Jason Marshall said. “To get a little bit of a cushion there, late in the game, and to win the first game in a series is always key and important, especially to defend your home turf on a Friday.”
Junior Kyrell Miller (3-1) was the winning pitcher in 3 and 2/3 innings of relief. He yielded one run on three hits.
Miller struck out seven and walked one.
“Knowing how (starter Steven) Dressler has thrown all year and to see him come out of the game early, and for us to just hold serve … Kyrell Miller threw really well,” Marshall said. “(He) struck a couple of guys out to end an inning and then struck three guys out the following inning.”
Allen (4-5) started for the Panthers and was pitching well until he ran into trouble in the fifth.
He grooved a pitch to Brookover, who jerked it on a line over the left field wall and into the net for a lead that UTSA would not relinquish.
FIU’s Lorenzo Hampton delivers an RBI triple to right field Friday in the opener of a doubleheader at UTSA.
FIU jumped out to a 3-1 lead in its first four at bats.
The Panthers opened the scoring in the first inning with an RBI triple by Lorenzo Hampton.
They added another run in the second on a solo homer by Adan Fernandez.
Game 2 recap
In evaluating what went wrong in the second game of the double-header, Marshall started his analysis with FIU starting pitcher Andres Nunez (see video above).
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound, right-hander pitched seven innings, limiting UTSA to one run on five hits. He struck out nine.
“You know, I got nightmares of Nunez,” Marshall said. “In 2015, he pitched an absolute fantastic game against us in the conference tournament.
“He’s had some hardships and some injuries, and now he’s back, and once again beats the Roadrunners.”
Allen also did his part.
After UTSA scratched out a run against Nunez to tie the game in the seventh, FIU coaches elected to pinch hit Allen for Juan Teixeira to lead off the eighth.
He delivered with a solo homer over the left field wall against UTSA reliever Derek Craft.
“He got into one, and on a night like tonight when the wind’s blowing out to left, it doesn’t take a lot,” Marshall said.
It was Allen’s first homer of the season in 82 at bats.
UTSA freshman Jonathan Tapia turns on the jets to beat a throw to first base after an FIU infield bobble in the seventh. The error allowed Chris Estrada to score from third, tying the game, 1-1.
FIU 18-20, 8-9
UTSA 20-17, 8-8
Sunday: Single game, noon
Note: The schedule originally called for single games Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Officials on Thursday agreed to play two games Friday, take Saturday off because of forecasts for inclement weather, and then play the finale on Sunday.