UTPB comes back to take Game 1 of final home series

By  | 

ODESSA - After falling behind early, UT Permian Basin battled back for a thrilling 8-7 win over Cameron Friday in Odessa.

“Thought today was a complete team win,” said Head Coach Brian Reinke. “Pitcher stepped up late and we had some key hits.”

After setting the Aggies (19-23, 10-7) down in order to start the ballgame, the Falcons (15-26, 6-11) got on the board first. Pemron Burrows singled to right to start the game and Tylor Frailey’s perfectly placed bunt single got the Falcons going. William Bierlein doubled off the left field wall to bring in the pair and give the Falcons an early 2-0 lead.

The Aggies would come right back scoring five runs in the top of the second and added another in the third after a triple and a sacrifice fly to go up 6-2. In their half of the third the Falcons would answer right back. Bierlein singled again and moved to second on a single by Gabriel Melendez. They would both score on a two-out single to deep right center field by Jonathan Bermudez to make the deficit 6-4. They continued to chip away grabbing another run in the fourth. Andrew Donovan doubled and scored after the throw to second rolled all the way to the wall making it 6-5.

Defense saved the Falcons in the fifth as the Aggies were poised to add to their lead with back to back singles to start the inning. Then Myles Miller lined to Donovan at shortstop and with the runners going, the Falcons turned a 6-4-3 triple play to escape the jam. The offense would continue in the bottom of the inning as Skyler Palermo was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a single by Peyton Koopman. Melendez doubled to left bringing in Palermo and Bermudez brought in Koopman on a ground ball to put the Falcons back in front 7-6.

The teams would trade zeroes heading into the eighth inning. Back to back singles and a wild pitch put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position. A sacrifice fly to center field tied the game before reliever Nick Bartley escaped the jam with two groundouts.

With the game now tied, Melendez once again was in the middle of a rally with a lead-off walk in the eighth. He would move to second on a ground ball by Tony Oslovar putting the go-ahead run in scoring position with two outs. Donovan came through in the clutch with a ground ball to the right side that pulled the first baseman far off the bag and beat the throw to first and allowed Melendez to score from second, retaking the lead at 8-7 heading into the ninth.

The drama would not end there as a walk and single put two Aggies on with no outs. A groundout to first put the runners in scoring position with one out. The Falcons turned to Matt Williams who struck out clean-up hitter Izrael Trevino on a 3-2 pitch and got Miller to pop-up to second, stranding the runners to close the game.

“Matt Williams coming in and getting the save was huge for us,” Coach Reinke said. “Our defense was awesome today, not every day that you turn a triple play.”

Burrows, Bierlein, Melendez, and Donovan each had a pair of hits in the win. Bierlein had a pair of RBI while Bermudez had a game-high three. Burrows swiped his 21st stolen base on the season, putting him three back of tying the school single-season record. Nick Bartley earned the win, his second of the season. Cale Thornton was great out of the bullpen, not allowing a hit in two innings. Williams earned the first save of his Falcon career.

Tomorrow the Falcons will celebrate Senior Day. Ceremonies will take place in between the two games of the doubleheader. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 1 p.m.