HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th gave the University of Alabama in Huntsville baseball team an 11-10 win on Saturday afternoon, completing a three-game sweep over West Florida in dramatic fashion as the rain began to set in.
UAH (24-6-1, 9-2-1 GSC) trailed 10-7 heading into the bottom of the 10th inning with a steady rain falling at Charger Park, but rallied to pull out an impressive walk-off victory over the Argonauts (23-9, 8-7 GSC) in extra innings.
Vincent Kortbawi lined one to left field with two outs and the game-winning run at third base, then the UWF left fielder came diving in to make a spectacular catch but the ball found the wet grass and brought home Blake Massey for the win. It marked the first time UAH swept West Florida since 2008.
The 11th-ranked Chargers gave West Florida hope when they surrendered a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. Then the seventh-ranked Argonauts gave UAH the game right back with four runs in the 10th.
Austin Sanders began the four-run 10th with a lead-off walk, followed by another walk by Brad Clay. Following a strikeout Justin Riddle grounded one through the hole on the right side to load the bases with one out.
Massey brought in the first run with an RBI-walk, then the freshman Cody Burton came through with his biggest hit of his young career when he singled the right side as well to plate two and tie the game at 10-10. Massey finished with a team-high three RBIs going 2-for-4, while Burton went 3-for-5 with two RBIs.
After a fly out and a Chandler Brock walk, the team's senior-leader Kortbawi stepped in the box and did not disappoint the Huntsville faithful who stuck around despite the rain. Kortbawi led the way going 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and the ever-important late single.
Both teams added a run in the first inning and it was West Florida who jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning. Massey began his strong day with a two-run home run over the wall in left field in the third, then Brock made plays to give UAH their first lead of the game.
Brock singled in the fifth to tie the game, then stole second to force a throw and bring home Burton to take the lead.
Kortbawi also added a home run in the eighth inning that put his squad up two heading to the ninth.
Codey Paulson and Luke Mould were strong out of the bullpen, with Mould picking up the win to move his record to an unblemished 4-0. Alex Aultman threw a strong 5.2 innings as well, allowing just one earned run and giving up five UWF hits.
"I'm really proud of our team as they battled back all day. We made some big plays and definitely made some to lose it, but in the end anytime you can sweep a team like West Florida you have to be happy," said Royer.
It was a huge series sweep for UAH in both the GSC race and the region. The Chargers have now won five of their last six and have a five-game homestand on the horizon.
UAH sits atop the Gulf South Conference at 9-2-1, currently tied with Delta State. The Chargers return to the diamond on Tuesday, April 2, for a 1 p.m. game against Miles.
Courtesy: UAH Media