NACOGDOCHES, Texas -- UTA got a strong start from right-hander Trae Patterson in his NCAA debut but Stephen F. Austin used a bad-hop grounder up the middle with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning to post a 2-1 win over the Mavericks, on Saturday afternoon at Jaycess Field.
SFA (2-0) got a run in the third inning to take an early lead with UTA held scoreless until a two-out, game-tying single from Phil Berthiaume in the seventh. The teams escaped jams until the bottom of the 10th inning when SFA leadoff man Tyler Kendrick reached on a two-out walk and advanced to scoring position on a fielding error up the middle. UTA up a left-handed pitcher vs. left-handed hitter matchup against SFA's Conner Fikes with two outs and Kendrick on second base. Fikes chopped a bad-hop grounder to shortstop, with the ball skidding into leftfield for a walk-off single.
UTA (0-2) drops its second consecutive one-run game to open the season. The Mavs suffered a 4-3 loss to defending Ohio Valley Conference Champion SEMO on Friday in the season opener.
LEADING THE MAVS
Junior third baseman Easton Johnson – making his UTA debut – went 3-for-4 with two steals to lead the offense. UTA also got two-hit games from Berthiaume and shortstop Josh Minjarez. Quintin Rohrbaugh added a hit and Omar Salinas and RJ Williams each drew walks.
ON THE MOUND
Patterson, a native of Haslet, Texas, shined in his UTA debut. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder worked 7.1 innings, allowing seven hits and one run, not issuing a walk and striking out two. He allowed only a two-out RBI single in the third inning and got a ground ball to retire the lead runner with the infield in and one out in the sixth inning to keep the Mavs in the game.
UTA also used junior lefty Jake Wilcox, sophomore righty Dylan Schneider (0-1) and junior southpaw Ryan Buss in relief of Patterson. Wilcox faced one hitter in the eighth, before Schneider took over for 2.1 innings, allowing just an unearned run to take the hard-luck loss. Buss made his NCAA debut in the 10th.
HOW THEY SCORED
SFA got on the board in the third inning as Kendrick reached on a two-out single, stole second and scored on Nick Ramos' RBI single to rightfield.
The Mavs evened up the game in the seventh inning as Minjarez singled to leftfield with two outs and Johnson ripped his third hit of the game to leftfield. Berthiaume then tied the game at 1-1 with a RBI single through the right side.
UTA returns to action later on Saturday, facing SEMO in the nightcap of the doubleheader. UTA will then face SFA on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
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