Austin, Texas – Memo Cienfuegas tossed seven strong innings on the mound and Steve Vidaurri had four hits and drove in three runs to lead the University of the Incarnate Word to a 7-2 victory over St. Mary’s University on the second day of the Heartland Conference Baseball Tournament, Saturday morning at Disch-Falk Field.
The Rattlers took the lead in the first inning for the second straight day. With one out, James Hipp (Sr., Uvalde, Texas) tripled to right center. Hipp came home one batter later when Ryan Morrow (Jr., Bulverde, Texas) singled through the right side. After the Cardinals took the lead in the third inning, the Rattlers bounced right back. Josh McElroy (So., San Antonio) singled to lead off, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Greg Herbst (Jr., San Antonio) then tied the game when he reached on a fielder’s choice.
However, that would be the last time that the Rattlers would pick up a hit in the game, as Cienfuegas and reliever Alfredo Caballero combined to hold the Rattlers hitless over the final six innings. Meanwhile, the Cardinals broke the game open with two runs each in the seventh and eighth innings.
Matt Holland (Jr., Shreveport, La.) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on nine hits, while striking out three. He fell to 10-3 this season with the loss. Cienfuegas improved to 9-4 with the victory.
With the loss, St. Mary’s dropped to 39-17 and was eliminated from the Heartland Conference Tournament. UIW improved to 37-16 and will face the loser of the St. Edward’s University-University of Texas of the Permian Basin game tonight at 7:30 p.m. St. Mary’s will now have to wait to find out their postseason fate. The NCAA Division II Selection Show will be broadcast live on NCAA.com at 9 p.m.