Feb. 17, 2012
Ruston, La. - The 2012 season blasted off as UT Arlington outslugged Louisiana Tech 17-10 Friday night at J.C. Love Field. The Mavericks racked up 20 hits in winning on Opening Day for the first time since 2009.
The win also set a record for the most runs for UTA in a season opener, surpassing the 14-1 rout of Hardin-Simmons in 1988.
"I'm really proud of our team," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said after improving to 3-2 in season openers. "We've been gettting better in practice and it was one of those nights when both teams were swinging it well.
"It wasn't an easy win by any means, but when you get 20 hits it's good to see, especially on Opening Night."
UTA (1-0) took control early against its future WAC foe, scoring two runs in the top of the first before adding another six in the third. Beck (1-0) was able to stay aggressive and pound the strike zone thanks to the big cushion before running into trouble in the bottom of the fifth.
The Mavericks took advantage of a couple of extra outs in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead before Louisiana Tech could come to bat. UTA's first two batters got on base without the benefit of a hit.
Miller opened the game by reaching on an error by the third baseman, while Walker walked. Beck nearly homered down the right field line, but the shot was called fouled.
Beck would strike out before Shortall got on after the Bulldogs shortstop booted a potential double-play ball. Jordan Vaughn got the Mavericks on the board for the first time in 2012 with a two-out, two-run single to right.
UTA essentially put the game away in the third with a half-dozen runs. Six hits, including a two-run double from Brandon Lawrence, and a couple of hit batsmen aided the Mavericks' cause in the breakout frame.
Beck was cruising until the fifth, as his pitch count surpassed 100. Beck gave up four runs on four hits before giving way to Day.
The three-game series continues Saturday with a scheduled 1 p.m. start before finishing up Sunday at the same time. Inclement weather is threatening the start time for Game 2.