Second-place UTSA trails East Carolina by two in the AAC race

By Jerry Briggs
Special for The JB Replay

John Montes led off with a solo home run to spark a five-run rally in the top of the fifth inning Saturday as the South Florida Bulls claimed a 6-3 victory over UTSA to spoil Senior Day festivities at Roadrunner Field.

UTSA rallied in the eighth inning with a Zane Spinn solo homer but came up short in Game 2 of a three-game series in the American Athletic Conference.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Roadrunners had runners aboard at second and third, with one out, and couldn’t capitalize.

At that point, Bulls right-handed reliever Chandler Dorsey got a fly ball and a grounder to end the game, handing the Roadrunners a costly loss.

If there were any consolations to be found for the Roadrunners, they did catch a break later Saturday evening, as the first-place East Carolina Pirates continued to struggle. The Pirates lost 7-3 to the Tulane Green Wave, meaning that they failed to pick up any ground on the second-place Roadrunners going into Sunday.

With four games left in conference for both teams, East Carolina holds a two-game lead on UTSA. On Sunday, the Pirates will close out their series with the Green Wave in New Orleans, while the Roadrunners hope to bounce back with a victory over the Bulls in San Antonio.

UTSA has five games remaining overall, including the South Florida series finale, a Tuesday night non-conference home contest against UIW and three on the road in the AAC at Florida Atlantic, starting Thursday. East Carolina plays its final series at home against Rice.

The Roadrunners last won a regular season title in 2008 when they finished first in the Southland Conference under Coach Sherman Corbett. The Roadrunners claimed Southland regular-season titles in both 2007 and 2008.

On Saturday, UTSA took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first against South Florida starter Jack Cebert. One run crossed on a bases-loaded infield single by Diego Diaz. Another scored on Mark Henning’s ground ball.

In the end, Cebert escaped the jam, retiring the side with two runners on base. UTSA would leave 16 runners stranded in the game.

The Bulls got on the board in the fourth with a solo homer by Joaquin Monque. In the fifth, Montes led off by hitting another ball over the fence, South Florida’s fourth home run against UTSA pitching in two days.

One out later, the Bulls strung together five straight hits and scored four more runs. During the uprising, a throwing error in the UTSA infield kept the rally alive.

South Florida leadoff man Bobby Boser tormented UTSA pitching for the second straight game. Boser, a promising prospect that Roadrunners coaches believe is capable of playing in the major leagues, had three hits to give him five in the series.

Monque picked up two hits and two RBIs.

Series glance

Friday: UTSA wins 5-2
Saturday: South Florida wins 6-3


South Florida 24-26, 10-13
UTSA 28-21, 14-9

AAC leaders

East Carolina 16-7, 37-12
UTSA 14-9, 28-21
Tulane 12-11, 28-23
Wichita State 12-11, 26-26

Coming up

For the UTSA Roadrunners
AAC series: South Florida at UTSA
Game 3: Sunday at 11 a.m.

Non conference: UIW at UTSA
Tuesday at 6 p.m.

AAC series (to close the regular season)
UTSA at Florida Atlantic
Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Friday at 3 p.m.
Saturday at 11 a.m.

For the East Carolina Pirates
AAC series: East Carolina at Tulane
Game 3: Sunday at 1 p.m.

Non conference
Campbell at East Carolina
Tuesday at 5 p.m.

AAC series (to close the regular season)
Rice at East Carolina
Thursday at 5 p.m.
Friday at 5 p.m.
Saturday at noon

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