Seven-Run Eighth Inning Puts SFA Back in the Win Column

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin defeated California Baptist 13-6 as SFA evens out the series and collects their first WAC win of the season. SFA improves to 7-12 (WAC 1-4) as CBU falls to 9-9 (WAC 3-2).

The scoring started right from the get-go in game two when three consecutive singles from CBU put one run up on the board for the Lancers in the first inning. That run didn’t go unanswered in the bottom half of the inning as Clayton Loranger matched CBU’s run with a solo shot to right center, his first homer of the year.

Following a scoreless second inning, the ‘Jacks quickly loaded up the bases to begin the bottom of the third. Peyton Parker made the Lancers pay with a hard-hit single up the middle, bringing in two runs. With runners on first and second, the Lancers then gave up two walks to bring in another SFA run. Scout Sanders capped off the Lumberjacks first big inning of the day with a single through the right side to score Parker and give SFA the 5-1 lead after three innings.

Cade Stapleton, who started on the mound for SFA, was rolling through the Lancers after giving up one in the first inning. But the Lancers seemed to have his number in the fifth inning as CBU was able to hit three solo home runs to left field to bring their deficit down to one. Unfortunately, the big hits for the Lancers didn’t end there as another solo home run in the sixth inning tied the game at 5-5.

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Julian Thompson led off the bottom of the sixth with a high, deep flyball to left center that the Lancer left-fielder couldn’t seem to track which led to the ball dropping near the warning track and giving Thompson a stand-up triple. Alex Rodgers then brought in Thompson with a sacrifice fly to right field, giving SFA the lead at 6-5. However, that lead was short-lived as CBU tied the game right back up 6-6 as their leadoff batter reached via error and later scored on a sacrifice fly.

The game was then broke open in the bottom of the eighth, and it all started with a Sam Adams’ double to right field. Thompson followed Adams with a groundball that the Lancer shortstop couldn’t come up with giving both of the ‘Jacks a free base. That’s when the CBU pitching staff started to fall apart and the Lumberjacks were able to score the winning run when Cole Hill, who came in to pinch-run for Adams, scored on a wild pitch. The ‘Jacks were then given three free bases when Rodgers and Loranger both got walked, and Parker took one for the team and brought Thompson in from third after getting hit by a pitch. Cal Martin kept the rally going with a single up the middle which brought in both Rodgers and Loranger. The big finale of the inning took place when Tom Biggs stepped up to the plate and crushed a monster three-run homer to right field, finalizing SFA’s seven-run inning and giving the Lumberjacks a very comfortable 13-6 lead.

Garrett Gearner was able to close out the game in the top of the ninth, and secured himself his second win of the season after coming into pitch in the top of the seventh. Gearner pitched the final three innings only allowing one hit, one walk, and no earned runs.

All of the starters for the Lumberjacks played a big role in today’s win against the Lancers, here are some ‘Jacks who had an offensive day to remember:
Alex Rodgers: 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 RBI, 2 R
Clayton Loranger: 2-for-3, 2 BB, 1 RBI, 3 R
Peyton Parker: 1-for-4, 3 RBIs, 2 R
Cal Martin: 2-for-4, 1 BB, 2 RBIs, 1 R
Tom Biggs: 1-for-5, 3 RBIs, 1 R
Julian Thompson: 1-for-4, 3 R

SFA will now look to take the series win against CBU tomorrow at 12:00 p.m.