UTRGV wins WAC home opener in walk-off fashion

EDINBURG — UTRGV won its WAC home opener, 3-2, in walk-off fashion in 10 innings over Northern Colorado on Friday at UTRGV Baseball Stadium.

After giving up a run to the Bears in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings at 2-2, the Vaqueros managed to load the bases in the 10th. A leadoff single by Jacob Hirsh, an intentional walk of Hunter Lessard and a bunt by Tyler Torres set the table for Christian Sepulveda to step up and deliver the game-winning base hit to left field to give UTRGV the win.

“I was just trying to hit the ball hard, find the hole and put the ball in play and get that run in,” Sepulveda said.

UTRGV pitcher Trevelle Hill got the start for the Vaqueros and went eight innings, striking out eight batters and allowing just one run. Ryan Jackson was awarded the win for the Vaqueros as he pitched two innings, striking out two.

UTRGV coach Derek Matlock said the difference between this win and last week’s 10-inning loss on the road came down to the pressure on the away team’s pitcher.

“Their guy threw the ball well. Hill matched him and threw the ball really well. We got a win. We just got to build on that and get ready for a double tomorrow,” Matlock said.

Conrado Diaz gave the Vaqueros a 1-0 lead early as a double drove in Anthony Gomez from second. Gomez also gave UTRGV a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly that scored left fielder Elijah Alexander.

Diaz finished 2 for 5 with an RBI. Gomez went 1 for 4 with an RBI and one run scored. And Sepulveda provided the game-winning hit on 1 for 4 hitting.

“It was really important to start off the weekend with a ‘W’ and it helps us carry the momentum into the doubleheader,” Sepulveda said.

The Vaqueros (16-10, 2-2) will be back at home for a doubleheader at 2 p.m. today as UTRGV closes out its three-game series against Northern Colorado.

bramos@themonitor.com