GAME 1 of Double Header
RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros baseball team scored seven runs in the first inning en route to a 19-0 victory over the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Highlanders in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday at UTRGV Baseball Stadium.
Senior Christian Sepulveda led the Vaqueros (8-7) by going a career-best 4-for-5 with a double, a career-high tying four RBI and a career-high tying three runs scored. Senior Coleman Grubbs went 3-for-4 with a career-high two doubles, two walks, three RBI and a season-high tying three runs scored. Graduate student Andy Atwood finished 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk and a career-high three runs scored.
The Vaqueros started the first with back-to-back walks against Grant Vurpillat (0-1). Atwood laid down a perfect bunt on the left side to load the bases. Senior Conrado Diaz was plunked to force-in a run. Sepulveda followed with an RBI-single. One out later, senior Elijah Alexander was plunked to force-in a run and then junior Adrian Pena walked to force-in another run and knock out Vurpillat. Junior Darian Luper came up next and hit a groundball to short that was bobbled by David Mercado as a run came in. Grubbs, the 10th batter, capped the inning with a two-run double.
The Vaqueros added a run in the second on a Diaz groundout and one in the third on a Grubbs single.
The Vaqueros scored five runs in the fifth on a two-run single by Diaz, a two-run double by Sepulveda and a single by Alexander.
The Vaqueros scored five more runs in the sixth on singles by freshman PSJA alum Trey Guajardo, Sepulveda and sophomore Vela alum Aaron Galvan, a balk, and a Pena sacrifice fly.
That was more than enough run support for graduate student Max Balderrama Jr. (1-0), who in his first-career start, pitched a complete game shutout, going a career-high seven innings, striking out a career-high 10 while allowing four hits and one walk.
GAME 2 of Double Header
RIO GRANDE VALLEY – Junior Tyler Kisner racked up a career-high 10 strikeouts in a career-high seven scoreless innings to lead The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros baseball team to an 8-0 victory over the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Highlanders in game two of a doubleheader on Saturday at UTRGV Baseball Stadium.
The Vaqueros (8-7) have now won six in a row.
In his first-career start, Kisner (1-0) pitched around five singles, three of which didn’t leave the infield, and two walks. Including graduate student Max Balderrama Jr., both Vaqueros starters in the doubleheader struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings.
The Vaqueros gave Kisner all the support he needed in the first with doubles by junior Jacob Hirsh, graduate student Andy Atwood and senior Christian Sepulveda, with the latter two recording RBI.
Senior Coleman Grubbs hit his second home run of the season, a solo shot in the third, to put the Vaqueros up 3-0.
Grubbs finished 3-for-5. Sepulveda went 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. Hirsh went 2-for-5.
That was it against Highlanders (6-7) starter Parker O’Neil (2-1), who allowed seven hits and one walk while striking out two in six innings.
The Vaqueros added five runs in the seventh on bases loaded walks by senior Conrado Diaz, Sepulveda and sophomore Vela alum Aaron Galvan, and a two-run single by junior Freddy Rojas Jr.
Junior Chase Bridges struck out three in a perfect eighth and junior Darian Luper followed with a strikeout in a scoreless ninth to close out the game.
UTRGV and NJIT complete the four-game series on Sunday at 11 a.m. For the eighth-straight year, UTRGV is teaming up with the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley to strike out hunger. Fans that donate five non-perishable food items at any Sunday home game receive a free ticket. Donations support the Food Bank RGV. Gates open at 10.