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Stagnant Offense and Two Out Earned Runs Contribute to UTSA dropping Series to TAMU-CC

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The Roadrunners found themselves in three closely contested games over the weekend. Unfortunately, they left Corpus Christi only winning one of those games. Running into crafty pitching, a stagnant offense, and allowing more two-out runs all contributed to the outcome. Not to mention, most of Friday’s game was unavailable to watch due to broadcast difficulties. It wasn’t all bad. Despite the series loss, they were a few situations away from flipping the script. When it was all said and done, it was another 1-2 weekend. 

The Good…

The pitching and defense weren’t terrible. In each of the first two games, the staff only allowed four runs. They did what they needed to do to keep UTSA in the game. When the offense isn’t producing runs, this is a difficult task. They also managed to play twenty-one innings and only use six pitchers. This meant going into Sunday with much of the bullpen available. The defense also showed bright spots throughout the weekend.

Specifically on Saturday evening, the range in the gaps kept this from being a series sweep by the Islanders. After tying the game in the bottom of the eighth, it looked like Corpus Christi might walk things off Saturday night. Zane Spinn made a game-saving stop on the third single of the inning. The next batter would fly out, sending the game to extra innings. 

In the 11th, Tye Odom made a great one-out diving catch. Had the ball gotten by him, Corpus would have had one in scoring position with room to play small ball. 

UTSA continued to be aggressive on the basepaths. This proved beneficial in the top of the 12th on Friday, as Caleb Hill scored from second on a double play attempt that Mason Lytle’s speed broke up. Perhaps seeing the lack of offense, Coach Aguayo took the chance that paid off, sending Hill. Scoring opportunities throughout the weekend were helped by the Roadrunners being patient at the plate at times. 

The Not So Good… 

Let’s cut right to the chase. Overall, the hitting was very stagnant and almost non-existent throughout the weekend. Even in the lone win, UTSA only had four hits through nine innings and nine strikeouts. It was hard to tell from the broadcast, but based on Coach Hallmark’s eventual 9th-inning ejection, it did not seem like a quality job behind home plate. As a result, he was not able to coach the series finale. There were still far too many times throughout the weekend where there were K’s looking. Hopefully, as this squad continues to get time at the plate, they can improve their approach and get the ball in play more often. 

Across the slate, UTSA only managed eleven runs. The Islanders scored six runs on Sunday, but it is unfortunate to get the overall pitching performance UTSA did and only one win to show for it. Baseball is just that game where you can score twenty-nine runs one weekend and eleven the next. It is one of the reasons I love this game. 

In the three games, the strikeout total for the Roadrunner offense was thirty-one. 31. Thirteen on the first night, twelve on the second, and six on Sunday afternoon. There were runners left on base, in scoring position, and at times with only one, even no outs. The walks are helpful, but scoring is much more difficult if the hitting doesn’t complement them. 

Of the thirteen runs that Texas A&M—Corpus Christi scored this weekend, eleven came with two outs. The UTSA pitching staff has struggled to close out innings this season, and it showed up again this weekend. It is a momentum-swinging, crushing way to have innings extended. This is something that needs to be cleaned up. 

Unfortunately, Lorenzo Morresi left Saturday’s game late with an apparent back injury. He seemed to strain something when throwing down to second after the pre-inning warm-ups. He still looked to be in significant pain after the game when the team was celebrating the extra-innings victory. 

The Roadrunners are now 8-8 on the season. A lack of consistency has been the biggest eye-sore for the team throughout the start of the season. All three components look to lack a stretch of bringing it all together at the same time. This will continue to be a focal point as conference play approaches. 

Looking Ahead… 

UTSA will be back in action Tuesday evening. It is a midweek rematch of a game they lost to Abilene Christian University last season. After falling behind early, they clawed back before narrowly dropping the game. The all-time series is tied at two wins apiece. While this will be the third meeting since 2018, the two previous matchups occurred in 2002 and 2003. 

The game on Tuesday will be the fifth time UTSA has faced a team from the WAC this season. Against the conference, they are 6-4 in 2024. They will look to log one more win before closing the book on the conference for 2024. 

ACU is 10-7 to start the season. They won against Baylor and opened conference play by taking two out of three from Tarleton State. Their only other mutual opponent at this point is the Islanders, who they went 1-2 against, getting outscored 13-10. 

Power-wise, they have only hit eight home runs spread out across four players. 1B Gino D’Alessio leads the team with three, while Garret Williams (2B) and DJ Van Atten (DH) have two home runs. 

Fans should still be weary of extra-base hits as ACU has hit twenty-two doubles in just seventeen games. They also appear to run the bases hard, with sixteen stolen bases and a 70% successful stolen base percentage. 

On the mound, I would expect Rolando De Le Cruz to get the start. He seems to be the midweek starter. However, through three starts, he has only gone seven innings and has a 10.29 ERA. So, if I’m UTSA and he is on the bump, I’m coming out swinging. 

When you look for a mix of quality outings and more innings out of the ACU bullpen, watch for Chandler Benson and Caden Greanead. Greanead, in particular, has sixteen strikeouts in 13.2 innings pitched. 

After dropping the first Tuesday game of the season, UTSA has won the last two games, the last of which was the dominating rematch against Tarleton State. Hopefully, they can keep that win streak going and get back above .500. 

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