Josh Killeen’s three-run double highlighted a four-run second inning, and the UTSA Roadrunners bounced back from two straight losses with a 6-3 victory over the Marshall Thundering Herd Friday night to stoke their Conference USA title hopes.
Ian Bailey added a solo home run in the third inning for the Roadrunners, who picked up a game in the C-USA race and moved to within two games of first place with eight to play. After Friday’s games, Southern Miss, UTSA and Louisiana Tech are 1-2-3 in the standings.
The Roadrunners arrived at the ball park having lost two straight, falling 2-1 at Middle Tennessee last Sunday and then returning home, only to get blown out 12-1 on Tuesday in a non-conference game against UT-Rio Grande Valley.
In the opener of a C-USA series against Marshall, they built an early lead and then tacked on a run in the eighth to make it 6-2. But in the top of the ninth, the Thundering Herd rallied, loading the bases with no outs against freshman Braylon Owens.
Simon Miller replace Owens to try and put an end to the uprising. Miller yielded an RBI single by Luke Edwards, pulling the Herd to within 6-3. At that point, he responded by striking out Ryan Leitch and Kyle Schaefer. Christian Lucio flied out to center to end the game.
With the win, UTSA improved to 18-5 in its last 23 games and to 13-3 in its last 16 in conference.
UTSA 31-15, 15-7
Marshall 19-25-1, 8-14
Southern Miss 17-5
Louisiana Tech 14-8
Florida Atlantic 14-8
Saturday — Marshall at UTSA, 2 p.m.
Sunday — Marshall at UTSA, 11:30 a.m.
How it happened
First, the Florida Atlantic Owls completed a 10-2 victory over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in Ruston. Then, the Old Dominion Monarchs knocked off the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, 4-1, in Hattiesburg. Those two outcomes set the stage for the Roadrunners to gain ground in the C-USA race.