Home finale: Roadrunners run-rule the UIW Cardinals

Freshman Diego Diaz rips an RBI single through the middle, boosting UTSA to a 3-0 lead. The Roadrunners later made it 4-0, getting off to a fast start in the bottom of the first against the Cardinals. – The JB Replay

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

The UTSA Roadrunners won their home finale Tuesday night, rolling past the UIW Cardinals 13-3 in eight innings on the run rule.

Originally, officials counted it as a 14-3 UTSA victory when two baserunners crossed home on Mark Henning’s single.

Later, a run came off the board. Because, technically, the game ended when the margin of victory reached 10 runs.


UIW 24-27
UTSA 30-21

Coming up

For the Roadrunners
AAC series: UTSA at Florida Atlantic
Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Friday at 3 p.m.
Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

AAC tournament: At Clearwater, Fla.
May 21-26

For the Cardinals
Southland series: UIW at Houston Christian
Thursday at 2 p.m.
Friday at 1 p.m.
Saturday at 2 p.m.

Southland tournament: At Hammond, La.
May 22-25


*) One storyline in the second meeting of the season between the Roadrunners and the Cardinals centered on a return to action for UTSA freshman pitcher Robert Orloski. The first-year player from Idaho, who hasn’t played since April 30, started and pitched an inning and a third without allowing a run or a hit. He faced six batters. In the second inning, with one out, he walked two straight and was lifted.

Orloski made a name for himself by winning a couple of big games for the Roadrunners in March, including one against the nationally-ranked East Carolina Pirates. In April, he suffered a few shaky outings as a starter and one as a reliever. At Texas A&M, Orloski, pitching in the ninth, yielded a walk off home run against the SEC powerhouse Aggies.

*) After two innings, the Roadrunners have built a 5-0 lead. They scored four in the first inning off little-used UIW righthander Edward Mendoza. Mendoza had only pitched 3 and 2/3 innings this season. A hit by pitch and two walks led to the first-inning outburst, highlighted by James Taussig‘s two-run single and an RBI single by Diego Diaz. In the second inning, facing UIW’s Braden Berry, UTSA made it 5-0 on a run-scoring single by Matt King.

UIW third baseman Ryder Hernandez makes a nice play to end the bottom of the third for UTSA. He snares a hard-hit ground ball, comes up throwing and nips Whitt Joyce for the last out. Roadrunners lead 5-1 going into the T4. – The JB Replay

*) Mason Lytle’s quickness with the bat and speed on the bases ignited a two-run inning for the Roadrunners in the bottom of the fourth. Lytle, USA’s leading hitter at .365 coming in, led off by bashing a double into the left field corner. On the next pitch, he stole third. On the play, the catcher’s throw skipped into the outfield, and Lytle scored. The Roadrunners made it a 7-1 ball game when Alexander Olivo drove an RBI double to the base of the wall in left center.

*) Dalton Beck, a 6-2 UIW junior from Frisco, entered the game as one of the hottest players in the Southland Conference. Beck led the Southland with 16 home runs. He was also second in batting at .391. UTSA pitching has done a good job with the SLC honors candidate through six innings. Beck is 0-for-3 with a pop foul out and two fly balls to right. So far. He may get another turn or two tonight. In the bottom of the sixth, UTSA is batting and Mason Lytle is doing his thing again. On board via fielders choice, he stole second base. His second steal of the night. Just scored on a hard-hit ball by Olivo into right field. Now Olivo scores on a Matt King ground ball that was thrown away at first. The Cardinals’ fourth error of the game.

UTSA senior Alex Olivo smashes the first of his two RBI doubles tonight. This one came in the fourth inning. He had another one in the sixth. With the last three games of the season looming this weekend at Florida Atlantic, it’s a good time for Olivo to get hot. – UTSA athletics

*) The Cardinals got it going in the T7 against Conor Myles, the fifth UTSA pitcher of the game, scoring a couple of runs on two hits and a throwing error. Cameron Caley and Beck, UIW’s top two players, ignited the rally. Caley singled and Beck doubled. Beck’s hit bounded high in the infield and over the head of the UTSA first baseman. The Roadrunners picked up the ball in the outfield and threw it away, allowing Caley to score and Beck to take third. Myles retired the next two batters to end the threat.

Roadrunners shrug off the wind and down the UAB Blazers, 12-3

James Taussig ties the game in the bottom of the third with an RBI single through the right side. – Video by The JB Replay

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

A howling wind out of the north threatened to turn Sunday’s series finale at Roadrunner Field into a low-scoring pitchers’ duel, but with James Taussig, Caleb Hill and Diego Diaz leading the way, UTSA made the necessary adjustments at the plate and rolled to a 12-3 victory over the UAB Blazers.

With the win, UTSA stayed tied with ninth-ranked East Carolina for first place in the American Athletic Conference race.

Taussig, a 6-foot-6 junior from Houston, went three for three and drove in two runs as the Roadrunners notched their fifth series victory of the season in the AAC. Later, he called it “just another day” as teams showed up at the ballpark with wind gusting into the hitters’ faces in the 30-mph range.

“(Coaches) get us ready every day to hit the right way in these conditions, you know, staying through the ball, staying on top of the ball,” Taussig said. “(We’re) just trying to get maximum bat speed and hit the ball as hard as (we) can. (You) can’t control what the wind does to the ball.”

With temperatures in the 60s for a noon start on the UTSA campus, fans filed into the stadium decked out in sweatshirts and windbreakers, and holding on to their caps, if they were lucky. Flags over the center field fence were flapping furiously.

The game started with an equally chaotic set of circumstances. In the top of the first, UAB coach Casey Dunn was ejected for arguing with the home-plate umpire. In the bottom half, the Roadrunners pushed a runner to third base and scored on a wild pitch.

By the fourth inning, the Blazers had rallied. They plated two runs in the third and one in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead. But before long, the Roadrunners started to click. They scored three runs in the fifth and five in the seventh to break the game open.

“We played well,” UTSA coach Pat Hallmark said. “It was a tough day to hit with that wind blowing (in) so hard from center. So I was really impressed with our hitting.”

UTSA entered the season intent on making some noise in its first season in the AAC, and Hallmark’s team has done just that, playing five series in conference and winning all of them, beating East Carolina (2-1), Tulane (3-0), Charlotte (2-1), Memphis (2-1) and now UAB (also 2-1).

Asked how impressive it is to have won every series, Hallmark answered modestly and carefully, perhaps knowing that a tough series awaits next weekend at Rice.

“We’re trying to play good ball,” Hallmark said. “We’re trying to control the things we can control, which is, throw strikes, play good defense and fight at the plate. We always boil it back down to those three things. If we do those three things, we’ll deserve to win. We won’t always win. But we’ll deserve to win, and that’s really all we can do.”

Taussig did his part, reaching base five times, with three hits and a couple of walks. Also, two RBI. Hill reached four times on two hits and two walks. He also made the most of each opportunity, scoring four runs. Diaz enjoyed a two for five day with two RBI.

Ulises Quiroga (5-0) pitched six innings to earn the win. He yielded five hits and three runs, though only two of them were earned. Braylon Owens closed by working the final three innings, all scoreless. Combined, the two of them struck out 10, with Quiroga getting six of them.

Blazers starter Colin Daniel (6-3) was saddled with the loss.


UAB 17-21, 5-10
UTSA 24-16, 11-4

Series at a glance

Game 1: UAB defeats UTSA, 7-3
Game 2: UTSA defeats UAB, 7-5
Game 3: UTSA defeats UAB, 12-3

Coming up

Friday, April 26 — UTSA at Rice, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 27 — UTSA at Rice, 2 p.m.
Sunday, April 28 — UTSA at Rice, 1 p.m.

AAC leaders

East Carolina 11-4, 31-8
UTSA 11-4, 24-16