Palermo's walk-off clinches Lonestar Conference Tournament appearance

By  | 

Odessa -- After a brilliantly pitched game, senior Skyler Palermo delivered a walk-off single in the ninth inning to clinch UT Permian Basin a spot in the Lone Star Conference Tournament in the team's final home game of the season. The trio of Joshua Gonzales, Ivan Thomas and Matt Williams combined to allow just one run on the afternoon in the 2-1 victory, as the Falcons won the series three games to one.

After both teams combined for 54 runs over the first three games, the Aggies (20-25) looked to continue that trend in the first inning putting runners on the corners with one out. Gonzales escaped the jam getting a pop-up and fly out to end the inning. The Falcons (17-27) couldn't get much offense going against reigning South Central Region Pitcher of the Week Hayden Jaco who was coming off throwing a no-hitter a week ago.

The Aggies struck first after scoring a run on a wild pitch in the fourth. The Aggies threatened with a pair of runners in the fifth and seventh innings but Thomas came up clutch not allowing another run to cross. Heading into the ninth the Falcons had just three base runners but the offense finally broke out.

Pinch-hitter Peyton Koopman was plunked with two strikes to open the final frame. Andrew Donovan went to bunt him over but the ball was mishandled allowing him to reach as well and put two-on with no outs. Pemron Burrows was intentionally walked after a wild pitch opened first base bringing up Tylor Frailey. Frailey hit a hot smash right at the shortstop for a force out at home bringing up Palermo. Palermo fell behind 0-2 before working the count to 1-2 with a few foul balls before delivering a line-drive into left field bringing home Donovan and Burrows for the walk-off 2-1 victory in the final home game of the season.

Burrows, Frailey, Palermo and Vlasek had the four Falcon hits on the afternoon. Gonzales started the game on the mound and allowed just one run over four innings and struck out four. Out of the bullpen Thomas and Williams combined for five shutout innings and struck out four. The pitching staff only walked one over nine innings.

This wraps-up the home portion of the season for the Falcons who finished at home with a 12-14 record, their most since 2016. The win was the eighth in conference this year for the team after combining for seven over the previous two seasons.

The Falcons will wrap-up the regular season next weekend in Stephenville against Tarleton starting on Friday. Seeding for the LSC Tournament is to be determined and with help the Falcons can finish as high as third in the conference.