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The UTSA Roadrunners (15-13, 5-4 C-USA) dropped the weekend series against the No. 25 Florida Atlantic Owls (22-6, 6-3 C-USA) one game to two.

The Owls stole the opening matchup on Friday night, 10-4. UTSA junior ace pitcher, Brock Hartson, was called upon to handle the starting duties and was handed the loss following a season-high nine base hits allowed.

Hartson battled back from a bases-loaded jam in the 5th inning before exiting the game in the top of the 7th inning.

“I didn’t have my stuff, but my willingness to compete really helped me get out of those jams. Overall, I need to pitch better for this team,” Hartson said.

Hartson trotted off the mound with the score tied at 3-3 after hurling 112 pitches, only to see the Roadrunners squander the game by allowing three consecutive runs to cross the plate.

“(Hartson) always competes, and for five or six innings, it’s Friday night at the fights. It’s like, who’s the first to deliver the blow and knock the other one down, and unfortunately, we didn’t take advantage of some of the offensive opportunities to add to the lead and really be the aggressor,” UTSA Head Coach John Marshall said.

Coming into the game with a 2-4 record in the previous six ballgames, Marshall hoped to jumpstart the weekend series with a victory against their conference rivals. Digging deep into his bullpen, Marshall called on six different pitchers before recording the final out.

“It’s been somewhat of a theme for our season, and it’s the reason why we’re right around the .500 mark,” Marshall Said. “Until we can learn to do little things well, we are going to keep hovering around that line of mediocrity.”

UTSA bounced back from the loss with a dominant 14-3 victory over the Owls on Saturday; however, the Roadrunners’ bullpen failed to seal the deal as UTSA lost the final game of the series Sunday afternoon by a score of 9-5.

In game three of the series, UTSA third baseman C.J. Pickering brought life to the team. In the bottom of the 6th, he launched FAU pitcher Seth McGarr’s elevated slider to deep left field for a two-run shot.

With the game tied at 3 in the top of the 7th, Marshall sent pitcher Patrick Herbelin to the mound for the Roadrunners, hoping to close out the inning. FAU’s Ricky Santiago had other plans, however. Santiago recorded an RBI double that ignited an explosive hitting performance for the Owls.

FAU’s offense frustrated the UTSA bullpen, causing the Roadrunners to cycle through four pitchers as the Owls tacked on five runs before retiring their side of the 7th.

“Today was about us having any sort of strikes out of our bullpen. We didn’t do that… we’re going to have to work hard and find the right guys out of the pen that can navigate out. I think once we do that we’ll be fine,” said Marshall.

Pickering recorded his second homer of the game in the bottom of the 8th, and left fielder Matt Hilston would later go on to score off of a wild pitch to bring the Roadrunners within four. UTSA could not rally in the 9th as they dropped game three of the series 9-5.

Pickering led the Roadrunners on offense, going 3-5 with three RBIs and a career first, two-homerun game. When asked about his performance, the sophomore said, “It felt great. I mean, just a couple good swings and a couple good hits. The ball was carrying today; things just felt great”.

UTSA will have one day off before they host I-35 rival Texas State on Tuesday, March 31 at 6:00 p.m. on Roadrunner Field.

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