The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley baseball team scored two runs in the ninth to beat CSU Bakersfield 8-7 on Sunday at Hardt Field.
UTRGV (31-19, 16-8 WAC) is now in the midst of its winningest season since 2000 (31-19-1). This is the first time UTRGV has had 31 wins after 50 games since 1991 (32-18). UTRGV is now one win away from tying the program record for conference victories (17-10 in both 2013 and 2014).
UTRGV led from the first until the eighth, when CSU Bakersfield (21-32, 9-15 WAC) scored three runs to take the lead. Tyler Jorgensen and Eric Charles hit run-scoring singles and Nick Barba drew a bases-loaded walk to force-in the go-ahead run.
In the ninth, however, junior Coleman Grubbs and senior Anthony Gomez hit RBI-singles against Kenny Johnson (0-1) to give UTRGV the lead.
That made a winner of Max Balderrama Jr. (7-0), who struck out two in 1.1 hitless innings to end the game.
UTRGV jumped out a 4-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run double by Gomez, an RBI-double by junior Conrado Diaz and an RBI-single by junior Tyler Torres.
Jesse Rowley hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning and then Tyler Jorgensen hit an RBI-double in the second to bring UTRGV within 4-3. Senior Nikki Rowe alum Ryan Jackson entered the game with one out in the second and the tying run at third. He proceeded to induce a fielder’s choice and a fly out to escape the threat.
Jackson went a season-high 4.2 innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits while striking out four.
Sophomore Mercedes alum Oliver Closner IV extended UTRGV’s lead with a two-run single in the third to make the score 6-3.
Gomez finished 2 for 5 while Diaz and Closner each went 2 for 3.
CSU Bakersfield got one back in the fifth on a Barba single.
UTRGV returns home for the final four games of the regular season, starting with a $2 Tuesday matchup against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at 7 p.m. at UTRGV Baseball Stadium. There will be a special pregame ceremony during which UTRGV will receive the traveling South Texas Showdown, presented by Navy Army Community Credit Union, trophy. General admission tickets and most concession items will cost $2 or less. Gates open at 6.