March 1, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington stranded eight runners on base through the final three innings on the way to 7-6 loss to Houston Baptist at Clay Gould Ballpark on Friday at the UT Arlington Hilton Invitational.
Houston Baptist (5-4-1) overcame a rally in the ninth by the Mavericks, who had runners on second and third with none out and trailing by a run. With the loss, the Mavericks fell to 5-3 overall.
"We had our chances," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "The story of the game, though, is that we dug ourselves a hole when we went down 6-1. You don't win many games when you do that. It's nice to keep fighting, but you can't rely on that or it's going to be a long year."
Matt Shortall was the story of UTA's offense. The designated hitter had three hits with a home run and three RBI. Ryan Walker also had three hits with two runs and one RBI. Houston Baptist was led by Luke Clements, who had three hits, a run and a RBI.
The Huskies opened fast out of the gate with three runs in the first inning. Jordan McCoy's RBI double scored Josh Foust from second. Houston Baptist added another run after hitting into a double play before Mike Chamberlain singled to score McCoy.
Houston Baptist added another run in the second before UTA would respond. Shortall notched his first homer of the season, hitting the 1-0 pitch over the left field fence. Houston Baptist countered with another two runs in the third inning on a Curtis Jones two-run double.
Travis Sibley doubled in the bottom half of the third and would score on Walker's hard hit ball to first base.
HBU expanded its lead to 7-2 in the fifth inning when Chamberlain opened the inning with a first-pitch double to right field. CJ Jarvis knocked him in with a fly out to right field two batters later.
UTA closed the gap in the bottom of the sixth by adding two runs. Walker opened up the inning with a single to center field and the Mavs took advantage of an error by HBU second basemen. Shortall singled to score Walker from second. Brandon Lawrence singled back up the middle to plate Shortall. The rally came to an end though on a line drive to the second basemen by Peter Cuomo.
The Mavericks left a combined eight runners on base throughout the final three innings of the game.
UTA is back in action for its second game of the tournament when it takes on Illinois at 3 p.m. at Clay Gould Ballpark. Illinois and Houston Baptist open up play at 11 a.m. The Invitational concludes Sunday with the Mavericks facing both HBU and Illinois.
"We are facing a really good club in Illinois tomorrow," Thomas said. "We have three games in the next two days, so we need to pick our head back up and get going."