Graduate student Elijah Alexander bunted home the winning run during the ninth to send the UTRGV baseball team past the California Baptist Lancers, a team receiving votes in the latest NCBWA poll, 4-3 on Saturday at UTRGV Baseball Stadium.
With the score tied at 3, postbaccalaureate student Christian Sepulveda led off with a double against Jacob McCarvel (2-1). After a sacrifice bunt moved Sepulveda to third, Alexander sent a bunt to the third base side of the mound with Sepulveda coming home. Sepulveda slid in below the tag to end the game.
That made a winner of senior Chase Bridges (2-1), who recorded the final two outs.
The Vaqueros (13-15, 5-7 WAC) broke a scoreless tie during the fifth. Sepulveda led off with a bunt single. Junior DeAndre’ Shelton and freshman Spencer Serven both followed with sacrifice bunts that were thrown away, the latter of which led to Sepulveda scoring. After graduate student Coleman Grubbs got plunked to load the bases, graduate student Conrado Diaz lifted a fly ball to center that was dropped, bringing home Shelton. One batter later, junior Freddy Rojas Jr. came up with a sacrifice fly to make the score 3-0.
Sepulveda finished 3-for-4.
Sophomore J.C. Ariza started and pitched a career-high 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits without a walk while striking out three.
After allowing two hits to the first six batters, Ariza retired 11 in a row. The Lancers (18-7, 11-1 WAC) broke through during the seventh, as with a runner at third and two outs, Harrison Spohn doubled and then Connor Clift singled to make the score 3-2.
The Lancers tied the game during the ninth on a two-out error that scored Chad Castillo.
UTRGV is back in action at 6 p.m. Tuesday for $2 Tuesday against Texas State at UTRGV Baseball Stadium in Edinburg. UTRGV Athletics is capping capacity at UTRGV Baseball Stadium at approximately 1,200 fans. A limited number of tickets remain available. Single-game tickets can be purchased online at UTRGVTickets.com. For more information about game day, visit GoUTRGV.com/game-day.