EDINBURG —The UTRGV baseball team saw a four-run lead evaporate, and coach Derek Matlock ejected from the game after arguing a call on a wild pitch during the top of the eighth inning.
Up just one run with momentum slipping away, the Vaqueros responded with an eight-run eruption during the bottom frame on their way to a 15-7 victory at UTRGV Baseball Stadium.
“We just told each other we have to bounce back and keep on fighting,” UTRGV designated hitter Aaron Galvan said after a driving in three runs. “The game wasn’t over — 7-6 was a real close ball game and knowing those guys, they could fight. We just said we have to keep on fighting, put some hits together and score some runs.”
Former McAllen Rowe standout Ryan Jackson stepped in to get the final out during the top of the eighth, which assistant coach Russell Raley said set the tone for a big inning for UTRGV’s bats.
“I thought we answered the bell. Jackson comes in there and gets us out of a jam and that sets the tone for us to do some things there in the eighth. We took advantage of some things and stayed within ourselves. It was good to see us kind of separate there at the end,” Raley said.
A Christian Sepulveda walk with the bases loaded gave the Vaqueros their first run of the inning, keeping them loaded for catcher Conrado Diaz to deliver a two-run single. Seattle’s pitching staff walked in three runs during the eighth and Galvan recorded two of his three RBIs on the night.
The Vaqueros built their early 7-3 lead behind a two-run home run by Sepulveda, two RBIs from Elijah Alexander and three more RBIs from Galvan, Anthony Gomez and Coleman Grubbs.
Galvan, an Edinburg Vela product, has six RBIs in two games against Seattle U after his 2 for 4 day at the plate. Alexander and Sepulveda matched him with three RBIs.
UTRGV improves to 27-14 overall and 13-4 in Western Athletic Conference play where they are now tied for first place with Sacramento State.
The Vaqueros will take the field at noon today for the series finale against Seattle U as the Vaqueros aim for the sweep.
“We got to hit the ball, throw some strikes and get runners on base so we can score them. We just got to keep on fighting,” Galvan said.