UT Dallas Rallies Past Redlands In Extra Innings To Open Spokane Regional

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SPOKANE, WA (05.17.18) - Down to its final strike twice in the 9th inning of the opening game of the NCAA Regionals Thursday afternoon, the UT Dallas baseball team rallied late for a 3-1, 10-inning victory over No. 19 Redlands as the Comets opened their second-ever trip to the NCAA Division III National Championship.

Down 1-0 with two outs in the 9th, Rodney Corbin laced an 0-2 pitch from Redlands starter Felix Minjarez, scoring Ryan Burciaga from second base to knot the contest. The Comets then plated a pair of runs in the top of the 10th off of Bulldog reliever Justin Yang, picking up RBI hits from Matt Mikusek and Josh Covey.

Comet starter Jamie Andriot pitched well enough to win, but did not factor into the decision after giving up an earned run in the bottom of the 1st to Redlands. Andriot pitching into the 9th before making way for UTD closer Garrett Hale (1-3), who picked up his first collegiate victory with two full innings of relief. Andriot struck out two Bulldogs and scattered nine hits without a walk in 8.0 innings of work. Andrtiot gave up a lead-off double to Jordan Babbitt before Hale took over and quickly picked up three outs. With a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 10th, Hale gave up two singles to the Bulldogs, but recorded a pair of strikeouts to lock down the victory.

Redlands' lead-off hitter Will Hall gave the Bulldogs their only run of the contest in the bottom of the 1st as he opened the frame with a ground-rule double down the left field line. Hall moved to third on a ground out Brendan Gardiner and scored on a ground out by Rainier Aguilar. The Bulldogs threatened in multiple innings later in the contest, but Andriot would hold off any attempt to add to their lead. Redlands would loaded the bases in the bottom of the 2nd thanks to a two-out catcher's interference call, but would not add any more runs.

The Comet defense added support to Andriot with outfield assists in both the 3rd and 5th innings. In the 3rd, right fielder Luke Richter nailed a potential second run at the plate with one out, while Covey got UTD out of a jam in the with a put out at third base after a Bulldog single that would have put runners at the corners with two outs.

Redlands' Minjarez was equally impressive in the contest as well, holding the Comets to a single hit through the first five innings of play. Corbin laced a single to left-center with one out in the 2nd, but Minjarez would able to induce a double play to get out of the inning. Minjarez would face the minimum through two outs in the 5th before issuing a walk to Barry Casey.

UTD got its second hit of the afternoon with a one-out single by Mikusek in the 6th and got a one-out single by Peyton Becker in the 8th. The Comets would collect six hits over the 9th and 10th innings.

The Comets improved to 31-15 on the season and will advance to the winner's bracket of the Spokane Regional with a 8 p.m. (Central) game slated for Friday. UTD will play the winner of Thursday night's match up between in-state foes Concordia Texas and Texas Lutheran.

UTD is making its first trip to the national tournament since 2007.