EDINBURG (KVEO) – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros baseball team fell to the California Baptist University Lancers, a team receiving votes in the latest NCBWA poll, 3-2 in seven innings in the first and second game of a doubleheader on Friday at UTRGV Baseball Stadium.
The losses secure the series win for California Baptist.
In the first game, the Vaqueros (12-14, 4-6 WAC) scored their first run in the first when, with runners at second and third and one out, junior Freddy Rojas Jr. hit a grounder too short to bring home graduate student Conrado Diaz.
The Vaqueros went on to strand the bases loaded down 2-1.
Bryan Pope settled in from there, pitching 5.0 innings, striking out six while allowing five hits without a walk.
The Vaqueros got one more run off of Pope, as graduate student Andy Atwood and Rojas led off the sixth with singles to knock out Pope.
After a sacrifice bunt, junior Brett Cain grounded out to bring home Atwood and make the score 3-2.
Rojas and Atwood each finished 2-for-3, with Rojas adding a double.
The Lancers got on the board against graduate student Max Balderrama Jr. (3-1) in the first on a two-run single by John Glenn.
The Lancers added a run in the third on an RBI-double by Ulises Caballero.
Balderrama pitched 5.0 innings, striking out two while allowing seven hits and three walks.
CJ Culpepper recorded the final four outs for his eighth save.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Vaqueros scored their runs on wild pitches, with graduate student Conrado Diaz coming home in the first and postbaccalaureate student Christian Sepulveda coming home in the second.
Junior Angel De La Cruz finished 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Graduate student Andy Atwood went 2-for-4. Junior Vela alum RJ Ochoa also reached twice, going 1-for-3 with a walk.
Sophomore Colten Davis racked up a career-high-tying six strikeouts in 5.0 innings while allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and one walk.
The first run came in the second on a two-out double by Harrison Spohn.
The Lancers added a run in the fourth on a two-out single by Russell Stevenson.
The Lancers took the lead in the eighth on a pinch-hit RBI-single by Connor Clift against graduate student Kevin Palm.
That made a winner of Matt Amrhein, who pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, striking out five while allowing three hits.
CJ Culpepper recorded the final out for his ninth save.
The finale of the four-game series is Saturday, April 3 at 10 a.m.