Feb. 28, 2008
FRISCO, Texas - - UT Arlington took an eight-run lead, held steady for the following four innings, then needed a save from Jeff Edlefesen with the tying run on first to nail down a 10-9 victory against Alabama on Thursday at the Southwest Diamond Classic.
Edlefsen's second pitch in the top of the ninth to Alabama's Vincent DiFazio was long to left and had a strong wind behind it, but Mavericks outfielder Preston McCoy made the catch at the edge of the wall as UTA escaped a late-inning collapse. Alabama had strung together five hits with two outs. The game was the opener in the Southwest Diamond Classic at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.
"We hit the ball well, played good defense and had some timely hitting, which was big for us," UTA first baseman Danny Slinkman said. "It was a good win. It was a really good last pitch."
UTA continues action in the four-team tournament at 7 p.m. Friday against tournament host Dallas Baptist.
UTA first four hitters - Michael Choice, Justin McPherson, Steffan Guest and Danny Slinkman - did most of the damage, combining to go 8-for-17 with six runs scored. Slinkman led way with a 3-for-4 day five RBI. Slinkman's hit in the bottom of the eight drove in two runs, and at the time, it looked like the Mavericks (3-4) didn't even need the insurance.
But the Crimson Tide (1-3) got a two-run double in the top of the ninth to make it 10-9, then put the tying run on first. Mavericks coach Darin Thomas quickly went to the bullpen for Edlefsen (1), UTA's fourth pitcher and third in the ninth.
Edlefsen's save made a winner of junior right-hander Nathan Long, who had his second consecutive solid outing to start the season. Long (2-0) went seven innings, allowed 10 hits but only four runs. He struck out seven.
UTA handed him a big lead by chasing Alabama starter Robert Phares (0-1) in the fourth. UTA scored five times in the fourth to take an 8-0 lead.