Center fielder Justin Toerner hit a walk-off RBI single to complete the Matador comeback beating Saint Mary’s 5-4 earlier today.
Down two runs in the eighth, catcher Albee Weiss hit a game tying two-run home run to set up Toerner’s clutch single in the ninth to give the Matadors a 11-7 record for the season.
“I enjoyed what Justin did,” said coach Greg Moore. “He got into that 3-1 count…[Justin] knew he was going to get a fastball in the 3-1 count, he got it and got up the middle.”
After a quiet two and a half innings to begin the game, the Matadors loaded the bases up with zero outs. The team got their first run when first baseman Kevin Riley hit a grounder that barely got past the pitcher, and he managed to beat out Saint Mary’s first baseman.
However with one out, Weiss grounded into a double play to end the inning with only one run scoring.
Saint Mary’s responded with three runs in the fourth inning which was started by a lead-off double by left fielder Brett Rasso and followed by three more hits and an error putting them up 3-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, shortstop Fred Smith led with a double, but was erased after he tried to steal third with no outs in the inning.
“We tell our guys all the time make, aggressive mistakes,” Moore said. “[Smith] is an aggressive player, and when you work at the zoo you have to let the animals play.”
Starting pitcher Andrew Weston managed to keep his pitch count low and threw eight quick innings to keep the Matadors in the game.
“I think that was is best outing,” Moore said. “[Weston] did a good job establishing in they took a few good swings…Andrew stayed with his plan but then started to expand his plan late in the game.”
In the bottom of the eighth with a man on, Weiss made up for his earlier double play and tied the game up with a big-two run home run to left field.
“I had got a few good pitches to hit those first two at bats and did not capitalize on them,” Weiss said. “I was trying to be short and put the ball in play somewhere and the result was good.”
With this home run Weiss leads the team in both home runs and RBIs.
“We all prepare like crazy in the offseason and leading up to spring to be able to do these things in the field,” Weiss said about the start to his season.
Weston started the ninth inning and got his first batter out, but after he allowed a single pitcher, Conner O’Neil replaced the starter and finished up the inning allowing no runs to cross home plate.
In the bottom of the ninth, after a hit by the pitch and an intentional walk to put two men on, Toerner hit a ball hard down the middle that just got under the glove of Saint Mary’s shortstop to score the winning run.
The Matadors play two games on Saturday against Saint Mary’s at Matador Field. The first game starts at 10 a.m. while the second one starts 30 minutes after the final out.