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UTSA Baseball Wins Sunday Slugfest against GCU for First Series Win

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For different reasons, each day of this weekend’s series was exciting from start to finish for the UTSA baseball team. It seems appropriate the series finished the way it did. It was a wild-pitch walk-off, good enough for UTSA’s first Sunday win and the season’s first series win. There were indeed ups and downs on both Saturday and Sunday. On the other hand, Friday started off with a bang, and the ‘Runners never looked back. UTSA has now won three of their last four games. Let’s get into the good, the not-so-good, and the future. 

The Good… 

After struggling to score runs early this season, UTSA flipped the script on Friday night. Putting up five runs in the first inning, with some help from the Lopes, allowed the pitching staff to settle in and deliver the first shutout of the season. I was surprised that the final box score only credited two errors to Grand Canyon. 

The newcomers showed up in a big way this weekend. Diego Diaz, Zane Spinn, and Whitt Joyce registered their first hits of the season. Diego also was a triple shy of the cycle on Saturday afternoon, getting his first collegiate home run and going 4-4. He also flashed some leather at different points in the field. Speaking of first homers, James Taussig hit his first two UTSA home runs this weekend. The second of the weekend was a massive three-run dinger to RF.

Fans still saw Robert Orloski on Friday night, although this time from out of the pen. His six innings were sandwiched between solid outings from Fischer Kingsbery and Cooper Hrbacek. The trio allowed just four hits, two walks, and no runs. Orloski’s seven strikeouts helped towards thirteen strikeouts for the Roadrunners. 

On the hitting side, there was better production from the bottom of the order, with a hat tip to the Ty(e)’s. Ty Tilson and Tye Odom bookended the weekend with solid days. Tilson went 4-4 on Friday night, and Tye Odom returned to the lineup in a big way. The Sophomore went 3-5 with a critical double that helped set up the walk-off win. Even though he ended up being the first fielder’s choice out, his double forced GCU to get creative, which ultimately did not go their way. 

Ruger Riojas continues to impress from the mound. He was asked to log several innings for the second time in four games to help secure a win. His only major blemish after four innings of work was a solo home run in the eighth. He managed to keep the Lopes to three hits with five strikeouts. 

The Not So Good… 

The defensive play on Saturday and Sunday could have been better. Crucial errors and miscues cost UTSA on Saturday, and it almost cost them on Sunday. Seven total errors were logged across the series, with six coming in two games. There were also moments that, while not official errors, cost UTSA dearly. With Coach Hallmark shuffling players around, team chemistry is still unfamiliar. There also needs to be an improvement in avoiding mental mistakes. At this point, the goal is to get it cleaned up for conference play. The margin for error against better teams will be much smaller, and the potential losses will carry more weight. 

When looking at the on-base percentage, the pinch-hitting was improved, coming in at .375. I would still like to see more hits come from that category. Five of the pinch-hit at-bats were strikeouts. It isn’t easy to come off the bench, especially unexpectedly, but Grand Canyon showed this weekend that if you can make the defender make a play, it helps your chances. 

Anytime you give teams extra outs, it carries the potential to hurt you in multiple ways. The errors mentioned previously extended innings and put more Lopes on the basepaths. UTSA pitching still got hit hard on Saturday and Sunday, highlighted by the six home runs allowed. There was a favorable wind on Sunday for the hitters. However, I would like to see UTSA give up less home run balls. 

Looking to the future…

On a rare Wednesday midweek game, the Roadrunners will get a rematch against the Tarleton State Texans. Just two weeks removed from their first contest, UTSA will look to stay in the win column. Tarleton walked off UTSA in the bottom of the ninth inning. Only needing one run, the Texans left no doubt with a grand slam to win it. This was after UTSA already surrendered a two-run lead after another back-and-forth game. 

The Texans will bring a 9-4 record into the midweek matchup. They have certainly got off to a hot start. UTSA’s business with Tarleton ends on Wednesday. However, seeing how the Texans do in conference play this year will be interesting. They are coming off a four-game series that they split with Central Arkansas. It leaves you wondering about the quality aspect of their wins. Regardless, they already got the best of UTSA once, and a win is a win. 

You can check out the end of my opening weekend recap blog against UT-Arlington for a more in-depth breakdown of some of their better players. I also discussed the first-midweek game with Stephen Whitaker from 

With the extra day of recovery on the front end and a shorter week on the back end, I would like to see UTSA get through the contest with minimal work from the bullpen. Some guys will need to throw, so that may be one reason for three or four arms. Let’s hope it is not for any other reason. 

UTSA can get above .500 for the first time since opening weekend. The goal for Wednesday is to have a comfortable win, with improved defense, and to leave the game feeling good going into the weekend series against Texas A&M Corpus Christi. 

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