LATE-INNING RALLIES DOWN MAVERICKS BASEBALL TEAM
Feb. 24, 2008
ARLINGTON, Texas - - The UT Arlington baseball team worked itself in a position to win twice on Saturday in the UTA-Dallas Baptist Invitational at Clay Gould Ballpark.
Late-inning heroics in both games handed the Mavericks their first and second losses of the season. UTA had Missouri State down by one run heading into the top of the seventh. Six runs over the following two frames downed the Mavericks, 9-6, and ruined a solid pitching performance by Jeff Nollen.
Against Dallas Baptist in the second game Saturday, UTA was one out away from victory.
A three-run ninth inning sent the Mavericks into the tournament's final day with a 4-3 loss. This time, UTA couldn't hold a three-run lead for starter Andy Sauter, who turned in the Mavericks' second splendid pitching performance in its first three games. Sauter tossed 7 1/3 innings and allowed just three hits and one earned run. He struck out four.
UTA returns to the park today for a 3 p.m. game against Arkansas-Little Rock.
"It's disappointing because we had a chance to win both games," UTA first-year coach Darin Thomas said. "But at the same time, I feel like we really battled when were put in a tough situation. When we lost the lead, we fought back to put runners in scoring position. That's going to help us down the road. If we get to conference play and find ourselves in a spot like that, we will have already been there."
In the first game against Missouri State, UT Arlington first baseman Danny Slinkman went 2-for-3, and Andrew Kainer had three runs batted in. On the mound, Nollen relieved Mark Picca in the fourth inning and held Missouri State in check for the following four innings. Nollen allowed just one earned run in 41/3 innings. He struck out four.
The Mavericks allowed a five-run, eighth inning to fall behind. 9-4. UTA rallied in the ninth but could only come up with two runs to provide the final score.
Against Dallas Baptist, UTA coaches handed the ball to Andy Sauter, who along with DBU starter Chris McMullen, provided fans at Clay Gould Ballpark with an old-fashioned pitcher's dual. Sauter was relieved in the eighth after allowed three hits and one earned run through 71/3.
McMullen gave up no runs through six and struck out five.
UTA scored a run in the bottom of the eighth off reliever Tyson Bagley and went into the top of the ninth with a 3-1 lead.
Dallas Baptist got a two-run single by Andrew Pirtle to take a 4-3 lead.
UTA got two runners on base in the ninth but couldn't plate the tying run.
"Andy Sauter's performance is very encouraging," Thomas said. "He and Nathan Long yesterday really gave us two great pitching performances. We just couldn't hold the lead. We didn't hit the ball well, but we still have some guys defining rolls on the team. I do expect more offensive production once we find out where the pieces are going to fit on this team. You do have to give McMullen some credit because he pitched a great game against us."