San Antonio – There were no flowers or candy grams exchanged this Valentine’s Day between crosstown rivals St. Mary’s and Incarnate Word. Just heaters and curve balls.
Last time these two baseball teams met, the Rattlers won in walk-off fashion in a classic, 12-inning thriller in the NCAA Division II South Central Regional last May.
Fittingly, Tuesday’s clash also came down to the final innings, as UIW overcame a one-run deficit with four runs over the seventh and eighth innings to win 5-2 at Sullivan Field.
Derrick Walls’ two-run hit in the seventh sparked the Cardinals’ comeback, handing the Rattlers – ranked as high as No. 4 in the nation in some polls – just their second loss in eight games.
M.P. Cokinos’ (Jr., Houston) double in the seventh gave St. Mary’s a 2-1 lead, but the Cardinals stormed back with three runs in the bottom of the frame before tacking on another in the eighth.
Ivan Sigala (Jr., El Paso, Texas) also drove in a run for the Rattlers, giving them a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a single down the right-field line.
Cokinos finished 2 for 5 in the game, while Billy Richard (Jr., Schertz, Texas) and Josh McElroy (Sr., Helotes, Texas) also had multi-hit performance.
Derek Moczygemba (Jr., Bulverde, Texas) picked up the loss for St. Mary’s despite striking out five over 6 2/3 innings.
St. Mary’s will hit the road for a three-game series in Odessa, Texas against Texas-Permian Basin that begins at 12 p.m. Friday.