Jaguars walk off with win over Islanders

Mike Forman By Mike Forman

March 29, 2017 at 11:30 p.m.

UHV's Jacob Atkinson watches the ball go over the left field wall for a three-run walk-off home run in Wednesday's game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Riverside Stadium.

UHV's Jacob Atkinson watches the ball go over the left field wall for a three-run walk-off home run in Wednesday's game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Riverside Stadium.   Ana Ramirez for The Victoria Advocate

Jacob Atkinson took his usual shower when he got home from Riverside Stadium on Wednesday night.

But Atkinson had a shower of a different kind before he left the ballpark.

Atkinson hit a three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to send UHV to a 5-3 walk-off win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

"I wasn't trying to do too much," Atkinson said. "I was trying to put the ball in play."

Atkinson hit a fly ball off of A&M-Corpus Christi (9-17) closer David Worrell that carried over the left-field fence for his first college home run.

The homer scored Joshua Fonseca and Wesley Kutac and set off a celebration at home plate that concluded with the sophomore from Harlingen South being showered with a bucket of Powerade.

"He threw me that first pitch curveball and I laid off," Atkinson said. "I figured he threw that pitch away and that's exactly what he did. The next pitch was a fastball and I jumped on it."

The Jaguars improved to 10-14 by rallying from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2.

After giving up two unearned runs in the first inning, UHV tied the game in the fifth on hits by Victoria West graduate Blake Henneke, Grant Westmoreland and Andrew Gross.

But the Islanders retook the lead in the seventh on a solo home run by Dawson Yates.

"It was pretty cool coming back here," said A&M-Corpus Christi center fielder Nick Anderson, who played for the Victoria Generals last summer and went 2-for-3 and was on base four times. "It kind of feels like home. I had my host family here and I kind of know the field. It's a good atmosphere."

UHV used six different pitchers for the first three innings before Gross and Westmoreland went back and forth between the mound and the outfield to finish the game.

Gross made four appearances on the mound and Westmoreland made three.

"I started to lose count," said UHV coach Terry Puhl. "The scenario just called for it. They both threw the ball pretty good."

Fonseca led off the ninth with a single and went to second on a sacrifice by Dustin Maciejeski. Kutac drew a walk and both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch before Atkinson brought them home.

"We went over there and have a 5-1 lead going to the eighth inning and they dropped a seven spot on us and beat us," Puhl said. "That was heart wrenching to have a loss like that and this was a heart wrenching for them."

NOTES: Wednesday's win was the Jaguars' second win over an NCAA Division I team. The Islanders lead the overall series 10-2.

UHV 5, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 3

TAMUCC 200 000 100 - 3 6 2

UHV 000 020 003 - 5 7 2

Two outs when winning run scored.

Dustin Lacaze, Chad Romere (6), David Worrell (9) and Lukas Hermanson. Fernando Pena, Ross Bludau (2), Bo Sheridan (3), Andrew Richards (4), Luke Alexander (5), Cesar Martinez (6), Andrew Gross (7), Grant Westmoreland (7), Gross (7), Westmoreland (8), Gross (8), Westmoreland (9), Gross (9) and Dalton Rodriguez, Chase Almendarez (7). W: Gross (2-1). L: Worrell (1-2). Highlights: (TAMUCC) Nick Anderson 2-for-3, R, SB; Dawson Yates 1-for-4, solo HR, SB; Brett Burner 2-for-3, R, 3 SB. (UHV) Jacob Atkinson 1-for-4, walk-off 3-run HR; Westmoreland 2-for-4, RBI; Gross 1-for-4, RBI. Records: TAMUCC 9-17; UHV 10-14.


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