NACOGDOCHES, Texas -- Brady Cox's pinch-hit single with two outs in the seventh inning completed UTA's comeback bid and gave the Mavs the lead en route to a 5-3 win over Southeast Missouri State, in the second game of a Saturday doubleheader at Stephen F. Austin's Jaycess Field.
UTA (1-2) outlasted SEMO (1-2) in the nightcap of the first twinbill of the year for the Mavericks. Entering the game with SEMO on Saturday, the Mavs had suffered a pair of one-run losses to open the season, 4-3 on Friday vs. SEMO – the defending Ohio Valley Conference Champions – and 2-1 in 10 innings on Saturday at SFA.
UTA fell behind 3-0 before Quintin Rohrbaugh belted his first homer of the year in the sixth. The Mavericks then took the lead for good in the three-run seventh inning, with Cox's RBI single giving UTA a lead. Omar Salinas had a RBI single in the eighth inning for insurance.
The game saw a combined 14 walks, three hit batters and two errors between the two defensive units. UTA's pitching staff used five pitchers to work through traffic in the game and combined the two teams turned six double plays, including four from the Mavs.
LEADING THE MAVS
Rohrbaugh and Salinas each had two-hit games for the Mavs, with Rohrbaugh belting a homer and drawing a walk. Salinas also added a walk, along with Colton Turner. Will Olson, Josh Minjarez, RJ Williams and Noah Vaughan each had hits, along with the big pinch-hit knock from Cox.
ON THE MOUND
UTA junior southpaw Jakob Hernandez made his NCAA debut on the mound, working 4.2 innings in the start, allowing five hits and two runs, walking seven and striking out six. Senior Matt Michalski worked an inning and Ryan Buss and Jud Kinzy (1-0) each got a pair of outs in relief. Junior Jordan West made his UTA debut and earned a four-inning save, allowing a walk and a hit with a pair of strikeouts.
SEMO starter Justin Murphy worked six innings, allowing six hits and three runs. SEMO also used Adam Pennington (0-1), Jared Waldhoff, Josh Haggerty, Ryan Lossman and Daniel Bergtholdt each worked in relief.
HOW THEY SCORED
SEMO opened the scoring in the third inning, as Tristen Gagan drew a one-out walk and Chris Osborne – the nation's leader in slugging percentage in 2016 – belted a two-run homer.
The Red Hawks added a run in the sixth, getting a leadoff walk from Connor Basler and a sacrifice fly from Gagan.
Rohrbaugh started UTA's comeback in the sixth inning, belting a two-out offering over the leftfield fence for his first homer of the year, cutting the lead to 3-1.
UTA kept the rally hot in the eighth inning, plating three runs to take a 4-3 lead. Salinas and Williams opened the frame with walks, with Vaughan sacrificing the duo into scoring position. Minjarez then ripped a two-run double into left-centerfield, evening up the game at 3-3. After a groundout and an intentional walk, Cox delivered a pinch-hit, go-ahead RBI single to score Minjarez and give the Mavs a 4-3 lead.
Rohrbaugh drew a leadoff walk in the eighth and scored on an RBI single from Salinas.
UTA returns to action on Sunday, facing host Stephen F. Austin at 2:30 p.m. CT at Jaycess Field. Junior righty Reid Petty will make his first start of the season.
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