SAN ANTONIO - The ULM baseball team swept both games of a Sunday doubleheader, downing Texas-San Antonio 7-3 and 7-2 to win the opening series of the 2012 season.
The Warhawks (1-1) pushed across the day's first run in the top of the first inning in game one on a sacrifice fly from Corben Green. Green sent a 2-2 offering from Roadrunner starter Clint Sharp (0-1) to center field, deep enough to score Les Aulds for the early 1-0 lead.
ULM upped its lead to three runs in the top half of the third inning thanks to aggressive baserunning. Aulds singled with two outs in the inning, and then stole second base to move into scoring position. Caleb Clowers drew a full-count base on balls, and with Joey Rapp at the plate, Clowers and Aulds executed a double-steal, moving to second and third base, respectively. The strategy paid off, as Rapp slugged a two-run triple to center field to plate both runners and give the visitors a 3-0 advantage.
The Warhawks made Texas-San Antonio pay once more with two outs in the top of the fourth inning. A Jeremy Sy triple to right field scored both Logan Fiasco and Taylor Abdalla and gave ULM a commanding 5-0 lead.
The Roadrunners (1-1) finally struck for two runs in the bottom half of the inning off ULM starter Alex Hermeling (1-0). Colby Braddock drove Daniel Rockett across on an RBI double to right center field, and RJ Perucki followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Horacio Correa III and close the gap to 5-2. After walking John Welborn to continue the inning, Hermeling forced Matthew James to fly out to Aulds in left field to escape the frame.
ULM added an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning, as Brandon Alexander drilled a 3-2 pitch from reliever Jordan Pacheco over the left field fence for the first Warhawk home run of the season and a four-run lead (6-2). The visitors would also push in another run in the seventh inning, as Clowers drove in Sy on an RBI single up the middle to make it 7-2.
Texas-San Antonio made a minor threat in the bottom of the seventh, with Welborn coming home on a Casey Selsor base hit to clip the deficit to 7-3. ULM reliever Kendall Thamm buckled down and struck out Rockett on a 1-2 delivery to end the game.
Rapp powered the ULM offense with a 2-for-4 outing that included two RBIs, while Sy added two RBIs and a run scored. Aulds chipped in a pair of stolen bases and two runs scored. Hermeling allowed two earned runs in four innings of work, taking the win in his first collegiate start.
Rockett paced the Texas-San Antonio offense with two hits, with Braddock, Perucki and Selsor providing the RBIs. Sharp allowed five runs (three earned) in his four innings on the hill to take the loss.
ULM (2-1) picked up right where it left off at the start of game two, blitzing Texas-San Antonio for two runs in the top of the first inning off starting pitcher Michael Kraft (0-1). After Clowers reached base on a fielder's choice, Rapp belted an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall for his third and fourth RBIs of the afternoon and a 2-0 Warhawk advantage. The visitors tallied an additional two runs in the top of the second, as Fiasco took Kraft deep and out to left center field to extend the lead to 4-0.
The Roadrunners (1-2) did not score against Warhawk starter Cale Wine (1-0) until the bottom of the seventh inning. Welborn reached base on a catcher's interference call with a man on and two men out, and Correa III drove Jake Wood in on a single to left field one batter later. Riley Good followed with an RBI single of his own off reliever Shelby Aulds to plate Welborn and cut the score to 5-2 in favor of ULM. With the bases loaded, Aulds forced Rockett to fly out to center field to end the threat and the inning.
The Warhawks tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the ninth on a two-run single from Alexander that brought home Rapp and Sy. After walking Welborn to open the home half of the inning, Wil Browning retired the final three batters he faced to earn the two-game sweep for ULM.
Les Aulds and Green led ULM with two hits in the rubber match, with Green adding an RBI and drawing two walks. Rapp completed his weekend with two RBIs and two runs scored, batting a cumulative .600 (6-for-10) with a home run, four RBIs and four runs scored in the three-game series. Wine hurled a two-run gem (both unearned) in his 6.2 innings, scattering five hits and striking out four to record his first Division I win in his first career start.
Correa III, Dalton and Good each rapped two hits apiece for Texas-San Antonio. Kraft allowed five runs (four earned) in five full frames pitched to take the loss.
ULM hosts Tulane at a 12 p.m. start time on Tuesday in the 2012 home-opener at Warhawk Field. For ticket information, contact the ULM ticket office inside Malone Stadium at 318-342-ULM or firstname.lastname@example.org.