By Jerry Briggs
For The JB Replay
Playing their first power conference opponent and their first game outside of San Antonio this season, the UTSA Roadrunners stood up to the task with error-free defense, solid pitching and 13 hits Tuesday night in an 8-3 road victory over the Baylor Bears of the Big 12.
Baylor scored in the bottom of the first off UTSA starter Drake Smith for a 1-0 lead that held through three innings. At that point, the Roadrunners seized the upper hand with a five-run fourth off Bears starter Blake Rogers and reliever Jared Matheson.
UTSA had some good fortune in the uprising with Baylor defenders getting a glove on three of the five hits in the inning.
From there, UTSA cruised behind its bullpen of Fischer Kingsbery and Daniel Shafer to its fourth straight win this season and its first victory in Waco since 2017. The Roadrunners improved to 7-13 all-time against the Bears.
UTSA catcher Josh Killeen had a solid game defensively, blocking a few balls in the dirt and throwing out a runner at second base. The Roadrunners also turned a double play and played without committing an error for only the second time this season.
Smith (1-0) earned the victory in three innings of work, and he was backed up with solid performances by Kingsbery, who pitched the fourth and the fifth, and Shafer, who finished by working the last four.
Leyton Barry led the offense with four hits, while Shane Sirdashney, Caleb Hill and Killeen had two apiece. Hill and Killeen had two RBI apiece.
For the Bears, Rogers (0-1) took the loss after being charged with four runs in three and a third innings. Austin Stracener, a sophomore from New Braunfels Canyon, had three hits. Kobe Andrade slugged a solo home run in the sixth inning.
Incarnate Word at UTSA, Wednesday, 6 p.m.
Utah at UTSA, Friday, 6 p.m.
Utah at UTSA, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Utah at UTSA, Sunday, 1 p.m.
To open the season, UTSA beat Tarleton State twice and then lost the third game of the series. UTSA followed with a win over Houston, a loss to Saint Mary’s, three more wins against Saint Mary’s and now a win over Baylor. Pitching is the story as the Roadrunners have posted a 2.81 earned run average and a .220 batting average against.
On offense, Leyton Barry leads the Roadrunners in batting at .432, followed by Antonio Valdez with .424 and Shane Sirdashney .405. In outscoring its opponents 65-35, UTSA has hit only one home run. .
The University of the Incarnate Word Cardinals fell to 3-5 on the season Tuesday night after the Texas State Bobcats escaped with a 12-8 victory in San Antonio. Rey Mendoza leads UIW through eight games with a .375 average. Wilson Ehrhardt, Alec Carr, Jimmy De Leon, Daniel Calabrese and Joe Jimenez have two home runs apiece.