Feb. 21, 2012
Austin, Texas - Preston Beck and Derek Miller each had two hits and Lance Day allowed just one run in five and one-third innings of relief to help UT Arlington defeat 12th-ranked Texas 7-5 Tuesday night in Austin.
Beck highlighted a four-run rally in the top of the third as he hit a two-run home run as the Mavericks erased an early 3-1 deficit. He finished the night going 2-for-3 with three runs batted in.
His defense also helped save the game at the end as the Longhorns made the game interesting in the bottom of the ninth.
With no outs and a runner on first, UT's Collin Shaw singled to right and Jacob Felts tried to get to third but was gunned down on a perfect throw from Beck for the first out of the inning.
"That was a big league throw," UT Arlington head coach Darin Thomas said. "That play was a huge momentum swing for us and kept us in the lead and gave us the chance to win."
After Day hit a batter and walked another to load the bases with just that one out, Adam Westbrook came into try and squash the rally. Westbrook then walked Mark Payton on a tough ball four call to make it a two-run game.
UT Arlington head coach Darin Thomas brought in freshman Chad Nack to get out of the jam and save the game. He did just that striking out the first hitter he faced and then getting Erich Weiss to ground out to win the game.
"I thought we had it there with that last pitch Westbrook threw," Thomas said. "But Nack came in a did a great job of throwing strikes and ending the game."
Miller doubled in the first and then again in the third and also scored two runs as he finished 2-for-4 with a run batted in.
Day came on in the fourth in relief of starter Adam Boydston and was virtually unhittable. He allowed just two runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings while striking out four and walking two. The victory moved his record on the young season to 2-0 while Nack recorded his first save of the season.
"He just kept putting zero's up for us all night," Thomas said. I told him I was going to give him a chance tonight and he really competed and did a great job."
"I just trusted my stuff and our fielders tonight," Day said. "This shows we can go out and compete with anyone and that is what the first few games of the season has been like."
Beck sees this team as having more confidence as the young season starts to unfold.
"In the past we may have been a little nervous in a game like this but we have more confidence this year," he said. "We have to find ways to get it done like we did tonight. It also helps when you can come up with runners in scoring position."
Stuart Hill also had two hits for the Mavericks. He also scored a run and added a stolen base.
The victory was the first by UT Arlington (3-1) over Texas since 2008 and snapped a modest two-game losing streak to the Longhorns.
"With the exception of a couple of years ago, we have always played well down here," Thomas said. "Our guys like to play here and tonight is a sign of what we think is about to come. We got down early but came right back and scored and took the lead, competed and won the game against a really good team."
The loss was the second consecutive for Texas (2-2) marking the first time since Feb. 20-21 of 2010 that it had lost consecutive non-conference home games. It was also the first time Texas lost a mid-week game since Feb. 22, 2011 when it dropped an 8-7 decision to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Texas starter Austin Dicharry allowed fours runs in 2 1/3 innings as he was tagged with the loss and is now 0-1. Mark Payton led the Texas offense as he went 2-for-2 and scored a pair of runs as he reached base all five times he came to the plate.
The Mavericks finished with just seven hits but when they hit the ball they made solid contact.
"I was happy with the way we hit the ball tonight," Thomas said. "We struck out a few more times than (12) than I would like but when we did put it in play we hit it hard and forced them to make plays."
The Mavericks now return to Arlington for their home opener Friday against Houston Baptist. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Clay Gould Ballpark.