The University of Houston-Victoria Jaguars let an excellent relief appearance from Dylan Blaha slip away Tuesday night when they dropped a 9-8 decision to the St. Mary's Rattlers in 11 innings at Riverside Stadium.
It was the third extra-inning loss for the Jaguars this season, and their second in three games, as they fell to 5-9 on the year. The 19th-ranked Rattlers improved to 9-2 on the season with the win.
After 6.1 innings at shortstop, Blaha, a sophomore from Weimar, came on in relief and held the Rattlers in check until giving up an unearned run in the 11th inning on a dropped fly ball. Blaha threw 93 pitches in 4.1 innings, with 61 of those pitches being strikes. He allowed the one run on three hits and two walks, while striking out six, including the side in the eighth.
Blaha even got the rally going that allowed the Jaguars to battle back and tie the game in the eighth inning. Blaha opened the inning with a single to left and Joshua Boothe followed with a single to center. Ryan Pearsall, who went 2-for-5 and scored three runs, then looked to beat out a sacrifice bunt for a base hit, but the home plate umpire ruled that the ball hit off Pearsall for a foul ball. Pearsall then lined a hard grounder down the third base lien that the St. Mary's third baseman back hand at the bag to force out Blaha.
Brandon Bohanon, who went 3-for-6 then ripped a two-out, two-run double on the left-center field fence to score Boothe and Pearsall. But it wouldn't be enough for the Jaguars to pull out their first-ever win against the Rattlers.
The Rattlers struck first with three runs in the top of the first and the Jaguars were forced to play catch up most of the night from that point.
The Jaguars got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Pearsall opened with a double to left center, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a ground out by Ryan Suescun.
Each team would add solo runs in the third, while St. Mary's would plate another run in the fourth.
the Jaguars added a pair of runs in the fourth on a two-run double by Suescun, and then took their only lead with a two-run fifth on a sacrifice fly by Robert Zaragoza and a wild pickoff throw that scored Stephen Shorkey.
But the Rattlers would answer right back with a three-run sixth.
The Jaguars jump right back into action Tuesday when they host 10th-ranked St. Edward's in a 5:30 p.m. game at Riverside Stadium.