Karan Patel winds up on the mound.

Karan Patel winds up on the mound. Donald Escamilla/The Paisano

A high-voltage weekend on both sides of the field gave UTSA their first series win of the season against Ivy League mainstay Dartmouth.

The UTSA baseball team opened a four-game series against the Big Green on Friday, Feb. 22, after a midweek win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Both game one starters, Karan Patel for the ‘Runners and senior Cole O’Connor for Dartmouth, stifled any offensive output and kept the contest at a one-run game through six innings. O’Connor had not given up more than four runs in one start during his career at Dartmouth, and his streak continued by going seven strong innings, allowing three runs, striking out three and only giving up eight hits. UTSA used a leadoff walk and a sacrifice fly ball from Nick Thornquist to cut the Big Green lead to 4-3. This game would not end without controversy. Junior Taylor Barber smoked a ball down the left field line that bounce off the top of the wall and come back into play, denying the ‘Runners of a go-ahead two-run homerun. In the bottom of the ninth, shortstop Josh Lamb led the inning off with a walk. After two sacrifices, senior captain Bryan Arias stepped in with the tying 90 feet away. Arias battled into a full-count, but UTSA’s comeback chances were spoiled by an infield fly-ball which gave the Big Green a 4-3 series opening win.

“I thought Slater Foust set the tone and the tempo with a lot of strikes and quick outs,” Marshall said. “I’m thankful we finally had a day where our offense felt the burden off their shoulders, and they could relax. This is the kind of day that propels guys into good years.”

UTSA’s offense would not be denied for the rest of the weekend and got a bolt of electricity from junior Slater Foust in his first start of the season for the Roadrunners. Foust showed experience beyond his years by throwing seven innings, allowing zero runs, two hits and five strikeouts for UTSA. The Roadrunners offense gave Foust all the run support he needed by scoring six runs in the first three innings and totaling 10 runs to give UTSA a 10-0 victory in game two. Seven-of-nine starters for UTSA recorded an RBI in an overall dominant team performance.

 

Dylan Rock hits the ball to get on base.

Dylan Rock hits the ball to get on base. Donald Escamilla/The Paisano

“I felt good, I felt electric,” Foust said in regards to his performance. “My arm felt really good. I had a good bullpen a couple days ago, and I got help from an ex-UTSA player. I know what it takes to get ready, and I know what it takes to recover and I know my routine is going to take care of the little things.”

The ‘Runner pitchers continued to set the tone for UTSA in game three behind the combined dominant performance of Hunter Mason and captain Bradley Griggs. Mason opened the game on the mound for an opener role for UTSA. Mason held 1.2 scoreless innings before handing the ball over to Griggs to continue the streak. The top of the UTSA lineup gave them a six-run inning and a lead they would not relinquish in the third inning. Griggs bounced back from a tough opening weekend start with five innings of work, two runs scored and six strikeouts to hand UTSA a 12-3 win, as well as a 2-1 series lead after two days of play.

“I mean it also helps when 10 runs are scored, and you can just go up there and throw strikes,” Griggs said about his offense’s high-powered performance. “I just calmed myself down, thought about good outings I had in the past and filling up the zone.”

UTSA turned to Palmer Wenzel for the final game of the series, and he delivered for the ‘Runners. Doubles from Dylan Rock and Thornquist allowed an early four runs for the ‘Runners. Wenzel settled in and dominated the Big Green lineup by pitching 7.2 innings and giving up one earned run. More run support would come for Wenzel in the form of a three-run six inning courtesy of a string of hits from Griffin Paxton, Barber and Sturges. Dartmouth applied pressure late on by scoring four runs in the final two frames, but would prove to be inconsequential as UTSA cruised to a 9-5 victory and an overall series win.

UTSA came out of their early losing streak and has now won five-of-six games going into a mid-week clash in Austin against the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.

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