SAN ANTONIO – It was a day for records at Roadrunner Field on Monday, as senior All-American Michael Rockett went 3-for-4 to become the Southland Conference’s all-time hit king, junior closer Zach Calhoon saved the 24th game of his career also a new league standard and UTSA held on for a 4-3 victory against Dallas Baptist.
Rockett’s eighth-inning single up the middle with two down in the eighth pushed his career total to 297, surpassing the eight-year-old mark held by Louisiana-Monroe’s Willie Core (296, 1998-2001). The Sugar Land native, who already has set UTSA’s all-time marks for at-bats, runs, hits, doubles and total bases this spring, doubled to lead off the second and singled the following stanza before setting the mark five frames later.
Meanwhile, Calhoon worked around a leadoff base hit in the ninth, striking out two of the final three hitters he faced, to push his season saves total to five and break the previous conference all-time record of 23 set by Sam Houston State’s Luke Prihoda from 2006-07.
The Roadrunners (19-17), who entered the contest having lost nine of their last dozen games, got all the offense they needed in a four-run second inning.
After Rockett stroked his 12th two-bagger of the year down the right-field line to start the frame, sophomore Tyler Carpenter then was hit by a Chris McMullen pitch. Sophomore Ryan Hutson drilled a two-run double down the line in left two batters later and freshman Jason Mohn followed with a two-run homer to right, his fourth of the season, to finish off the big inning.
The Patriots (22-11) responded with a bases-loaded walk with two down in the fifth off UTSA starter Ryan Proudfoot, which that chased the Birds right-handed starter from the game. Sophomore left-handed reliever Matt Crocker quelled the threat when he struck out Trevor Head to end the inning.
Crocker (1-0) picked up the first win of his collegiate career with 3.1 solid innings. The Kingwood native allowed just a pair of runs (one earned) on two hits and struck out a career-high seven, including the first four hitters he faced after relieving Proudfoot.
Dallas Baptist made things interesting with an unearned run in the seventh and another tally in the eighth, but the Patriots stranded nine runners in the contest in dropping their third game in a row.
McMullen (5-2) was charged with the loss after scattering eight hits and allowing all four of UTSA’s runs to cross the plate. The southpaw struck out two and walked none.
Chris Haney and Clay Kelly both had two hits to lead DBU at the plate.
UTSA is back in action on Friday night when it begins a three-game SLC series with Lamar at the Bird Bath. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. and junior right-hander Red Patterson (4-2, 4.82 ERA) will get the call for the Roadrunners.