It looked like the UTPB baseball team had things under control early in the rubber match of its three-game series against St. Edward’s. Unfortunately for the Falcons, it quickly unraveled.
St. Edward’s broke through with a seven-run fourth inning and the Falcons could not recover as they fell 19-5 in the Lone Star Conference regular season finale Saturday at Roden Field.
UTPB (13-25 overall, 10-23 conference) put up the first two runs of the game thanks to an RBI double in the bottom of the first inning from Nick Hernandez that was followed by a solo home run by Cole Dickie in the second.
St. Edward’s had a quick response in the top of the third inning with three runs to pull ahead. Even after that, UTPB refused to go down easily and regained the lead in the bottom of the inning off a two-run homer from Peyton Koopman.
The Falcons seemed to figure out how to hold off a team that scored 22 combined runs in the first two games of the series. Things changed in the top of the fourth inning.
The Hilltoppers scored seven runs in the top of the inning with four of those coming off of wild pitches and walks. A 4-3 deficit had quickly turned into a 10-4 St. Edward’s advantage.
Neither team was able to break through for the next three and a half innings before the Hilltoppers sealed the game with another offensive surge.
St. Edward’s (15-20, 14-18) added nine more runs in the top of the eighth inning to put the game out of reach for UTPB. Dickie added another RBI in the bottom of the inning for the Falcons before the Hilltoppers were able to put the game away.
UTPB head coach Brian Reinke said his team committed too many errors throughout the game, which allowed St Edward’s to jump ahead.
“I think our numbers sort of speak for themselves,” Reinke said. “We have some guys that performed well today and other guys that need to continue to work.”
The Falcons now have to play the waiting game to see whether Saturday’s contest would be the last time that they would take the field this season.
UTPB sat in 10th place in the conference standings entering series against St. Edward’s. UT Tyler sat in fifth, but is ineligible for the conference tournament as a provisional member of Division II.
If a team ahead of the Falcons has COVID-19 issues, they will be the first team in. Reinke believes the Falcons may have a chance to advance to the Lone Star Conference Tournament and says his team can have a strong showing if its season continues.
“I honestly think that if we can get in the tournament and play good, we can get on a roll,” Reinke said. “Once you’re in, then you’re in and you have a chance to do that.
“That’s what I really would like to have happen, just give us the chance to compete and see where we go.”
The opening round of the Lone Star Conference Championships is set to begin on May 14.
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St. Edward’s 19, UTPB 5 (8)
St. Edward’s.. 003 700 09 — 19 16 0
UTPB………….. 112 000 01 — 5 10 5
Wesley Gafford, Jesse Reed (8) and Cullen Ainsworth. Spencer Cofer, Ed O’Bannon (4), Luis Dominguez (4), Andre Leyva (6), Trey Penny (8) and Cole Dickie. W — Gafford. L — O’Bannon. 2B —St. Edward’s: Morgan Allen and Jake Hahn (2). UTPB: Nick Hernandez. HR — UTPB: Dickie, Peyton Koopman.
Records — UTPB: 13-25 overall, 10-23 LSC; St. Edward’s: 15-20, 14-18.