EDINBURG – Junior Hunter Lessard scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the ninth to send The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley baseball team to a 2-1 walk-off win over Utah Valley University (UVU) on Thursday at UTRGV Baseball Stadium.
This is the third time UTRGV (32-19, 17-8 WAC) has won 17 conference games, including the 2013 (Great West Conference) and 2014 (Western Athletic Conference) seasons.
UTRGV is now in the midst of its winningest season since 1991 (37-21). This is the first time UTRGV has had 32 wins after 51 games since 1991 (33-18).
The game was scoreless until the eighth. UTRGV loaded the bases with one out, setting up a sacrifice fly by senior Anthony Gomez to give UTRGV a 1-0 lead.
UVU (14-36, 9-15 WAC) answered with two outs in the ninth on a Kade Poulsen RBI-double.
In the bottom of the inning, freshman Vela alum Aaron Galvan drew a one-out walk and sophomore Mercedes alum Oliver Closner IV was plunked to knock out Jesse Schmit (4-7). A fly ball by freshman Jacob Flores moved Lessard, pinch-running for Galvan, to third. Travis Parker then threw the 2-2 pitch to junior Coleman Grubbs in the dirt, allowing Lessard to score the winning run.
That made a winner of senior Nikki Rowe alum Ryan Jackson (4-3), who pitched the final two innings, allowing an unearned run while striking out two.
Senior Trevelle Hill pitched the first five innings, scattering four hits and two walks while striking out two.
Senior Harlingen South alum Zach Martinez followed with two perfect innings of relief.
UTRGV and Utah Valley play the middle game on Friday at 7 p.m. during Youth Sports Night. Children 13 and younger wearing any team jersey or t-shirt will receive discounted $3 admission. This game also features the Raising Cane’s Challenge. After every Friday home victory, fans can take home a buy one, get one free Raising Cane’s box combo coupon. Gates open at 6.