Feb. 24, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas - In the top of the 10th inning sophomore center fielder Michael Choice hit a solo home run to give the UT Arlington baseball team a 3-2 lead over No. 4 Texas, but it was the Longhorns who struck last using their final out in the bottom of the 10th inning, with the bases loaded and two outs as Texas defeated the Mavericks 4-3, in front of 4,857 fans at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin.
With the Mavericks trailing 2-0 for most of the game, it was also Choice who hit a two-run double off the center field wall to tie the game for UT Arlington. Texas, however, won the game on a two-out, bases loaded double by catcher Cameron Rupp to right-center field that kept the Longhorns perfect this season with a 5-0 record.
UT Arlington, who was looking for their second straight victory over Texas at Disch-Falk Field, drops to 3-2 on the season. Last year it was the Mavericks who came away with the 4-3 victory in Austin, knocking off the then-No. 20 ranked Longhorns.
Texas reliever Austin Wood recorded the win while Mavericks pitcher Jason Mitchell suffered his first loss (1-1) of the season.
The game was a pitching duel for six innings as both UT Arlington starter Andy Sauter and Texas righty Austin Dicharry gave their teams a chance to win until both exited after 6.0 innings on the mound. The only glaring difference was Sauter gave up two solo home runs in the second and third innings that allowed the Horns to take a 2-0 lead.
Sauter yielded seven base hits and one walk with eight strikeouts. Dicharry kept the Maverick hitters off balance allowing only two hits with one walk and five strikeouts before giving way to the Longhorns' bullpen.
The Mavericks enjoyed most of their success offensively against Texas sophomore All-American pitcher Chance Ruffin. The Longhorns ace lasted only 1.1 innings after giving up four base hits, including Choice's near homer to center field that scored lead-off hitter Preston McCoy and shortstop Tim Steggall.
UT Arlington was kept in the game late by their defense. In three straight innings (7th-9th) the Mavericks ended potential Texas rallies with double plays.
The 10th inning almost saw the Mavericks get out of another jam to win the game. The first three batters of the inning for Texas reached base before Mitchell popped up Tim Maitland and then struck out Kevin Keyes, who homered off the scoreboard in the second inning. It was at that point, with two outs, that Rupp delivered the game-winning hit for Texas.
Choice led the Mavs going 2-for-5 with a double and home run. His three RBI led all players in the game. UT Arlington was also led by first baseman Shane Hopkins, who was the only other Maverick with two base hits.
The Mavericks will play their final non-conference weekend Feb. 27-Mar. 1, with three games scheduled at the UT Pan American Tournament in Edinburg, Texas. UT Arlington will open play on Friday, Feb. 27, against Southland Conference foe Stephen F. Austin at 3 p.m. Then the Mavs will take on tournament host UT Pan American on Saturday night at 7 p.m. and will close tournament action on Sunday at 9 a.m. against Illinois.