UTRGV Takes California Baptist Series with 9-3 Win
EDINBURG (UTRGV) – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) baseball team defeated California Baptist University (CBU) 7-3 on Saturday at the UTRGV Baseball Stadium winning its fourth straight Western Athletic Conference series.
After dropping the opening series to Sacramento State, UTRGV (25-13, 11-4 WAC) has taken series from Northern Colorado, Chicago State, Grand Canyon, and now CBU.
UTRGV’s offense carried over from Friday’s game as junior Christian Sepulveda ripped a one-out double in the bottom of the first to get things started. Sepulveda came around to score on an RBI single by junior Conrado Diaz that made it 1-0.
CBU (24-15, 9-6 WAC) answered right back in the top of the second against UTRGV starter Jarred Quartier. Chad Castillo hit a two-out two-run double to right field giving CBU the 2-1 lead.
UTRGV doubled CBU’s efforts in the bottom half of the second against starter Andrew Bash (4-3). After an error and a single opened the inning, sophomore Mercedes alum Oliver Closner IV lined a two-run double down the third base line scoring juniors Elijah Alexander and Tyler Torres. Two outs later, Sepulveda drove in Closner with an RBI single before Diaz followed with an RBI single of his own giving UTRGV the 5-2 lead.
Diaz was one of four UTRGV hitters with multiple hits finishing the game 3-for-4 with two RBI. Sepulveda went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a couple of runs scored while Torres finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
That was enough for the UTRGV’s bullpen as junior Kevin Palm, sophomore Max Balderrama Jr., seniors Ben Butler and Ryan Jackson combined for seven innings of relief allowing just one run on three hits.
Palm (3-1) picked up the win after pitching four scoreless innings while allowing just one hit.
UTRGV added some insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. With runners on second and third, Closner, who went 2-for-4 with three RBI, recorded his second hit of the game with an RBI single to right and then a sacrifice fly by redshirt sophomore Jacob Hirsh pushed UTRGV’s lead to 7-2.
CBU got its final run on a homerun by Damon Keith in the top of the ninth as Jackson closed out the ballgame with the final three outs.
UTRGV will be back in action on Tuesday, April 23, when it travels to San Antonio to face Incarnate Word at 6:30 p.m.