EDINBURG — The UTRGV baseball team upped its winning streak to six after pulling off a four-game sweep of Seattle with a 6-5 walk-off victory Sunday at UTRGV Baseball Stadium.
“That was a big six games in a row for us to reset. I thought we pitched really good this weekend,” UTRGV head coach Derek Matlock said. “I thought it was probably one of the best weekends of swinging the bats, especially off a pitching staff that was coming in No. 1 or No. 2 in conference. I thought we did a great job of scoring runs and playing offense.”
During the first half of WAC play, the Vaqueros (21-17, 12-8) dropped five games by one run. Now, UTRGV is hoping it has turned a corner as winners of its last two games in walk-off fashion.
“These last two games with walk-offs, they’ve been huge momentum builders, especially with the little bit of a roll we’re on right now. We just want to keep that going,” UTRGV second baseman Andy Atwood said. “We have great focus, great energy and we’re having a lot of fun.”
Saturday evening, Atwood crossed the plate during the bottom of the 10th inning to give UTRGV a 5-4 walk-off win against Seattle. Sunday afternoon, Atwood delivered at the plate with a walk-off single during the bottom of the ninth to score Freddy Rojas Jr. from second.
“We do a good job at home when we’re tied late. Some guys really do a great job executing late and it’s been fun to watch,” Matlock said. “We better get used to those games because we’re going to be in a bunch of them and we have to start winning them — before we were losing them. We lost five earlier in the year, and now we’ve won a couple so that’s huge for us late in games.”
Atwood finished 4-for-5 with three RBIs against Seattle, while Coleman Grubbs, Jacob Hirsh and Rojas each had two-hit days for the Vaqueros.
UTRGV rolled out five pitchers to get the job done in the series finale against Seattle as starter Colten Davis struck out five batters in five innings while allowing six hits, three earned runs and one walk. Ricky Gerik Jr. (1-2) picked up the win after a perfect top of the ninth that saw strike out the Redhawks’ side.
The Vaqueros are now fourth in the WAC standings at 12-8 with 16 conference games remaining on the schedule.
After spending the past four weeks at home, the Vaqueros are set to hit the road for a four-game conference series against New Mexico State beginning at 7 p.m. Friday in Las Cruces. Games 2 and 3 will be played as a doubleheader Saturday with 2 and 5 p.m. start times. First pitch of the series finale is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.
The games can be seen for free at WACDigitalNetwork.com.