Feb. 29, 2012
The Mavericks (6-2) are 2-0 against ranked foes in nonconference action this season. UTA beat No. 12 Texas in Austin last week. The game against the Sooners (4-3) was the second of five against Big 12 teams this season.
"Proud of our effort tonight," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "Tough place to win against a really good club."
Merck (1-1) evened his record and lowered his ERA from 19.29 to 5.40 with his five-hit scoreless gem on the road.
"Kasey Merck was outstanding tonight," Thomas said. "Six shutout innings on the road really helps your team play with confidence."
Beck launched a bomb over the right-field wall with two outs and two on in the fifth, giving UTA a 4-0 lead. Greg McCall opened the inning with a single up and middle and Derek Miller walked an out later.
UTA broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth. Ryan Walker led off the inning with a bounding single through the right side before stealing second. He advanced on Beck's groundout and scored on Matt Shortall's double off the wall in right.
Beck helped keep the Sooners off the board in the second inning, throwing out Max White at home. McCall did a masterful job blocking the plate with his left foot before applying the tag.
The Sooners were in good position to at least tie it in the bottom of the fourth after Hunter Lockwood led off with a triple. Merck induced the next two batters to pop out to second baseman Michael Guerra to take the sacrifice fly out of play. The inning ended with Walker picking up a slow grounder and gunning down Caleb Bushyhead at first.
Guerra opened the sixth with a single to chase OU starter Jonathan Gray. McCall singled and Philip Incaviglia singled, loading up the bases with one out for Miller. The Mavericks' leadoff hitter singled to left to drive in Guerra.
The Mavericks were hardly done. With the bases still full, Miller singled to drive in McCall and Incaviglia. UTA took a 7-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
UTA right-hander Zach Thompson relieved Merck in the seventh and allowed the first two OU runs before leaving with two outs and the bases loaded. Thomas turned to lefty Adam Westbrook, who induced the final out on a fly to center.
The Mavs added another three runs in the eighth, with Shortall's double driving in two. UTA finished with 13 hits, three coming from Walker.
The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but moved to Wednesday due to inclement weather in Oklahoma.
The Mavericks return to action Friday at Clay Gould Ballpark for the start of a three-game series against Houston Baptist. UTA also plays Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the midst of that series on Saturday.