March 2, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington lost its second consecutive game at the UTA Hilton Invitational, falling 7-3 to Illinois on Saturday at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The Fighting Illini (7-3) scored two runs in each of the first two innings, and the Mavericks left seven runners on base to fall to 5-4 overall on the season. UTA has two games Sunday, taking on Illinois at 11 a.m. and Houston Baptist at 3 p.m. The Mavericks lost 7-6 to HBU on Friday.
“When you get behind you are just fighting uphill,” UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. “It allows the other team to free up the running game and take some chances. When you are behind you can’t run and that is one of our strengths.”
UTA had three hitters with a pair of hits in Jake Pinchback, Darien McLemore and Derek Miller. Justin Parr led Illinois with four hits with two RBI and a run, while his twin brother Jordan Parr added two hits, three RBI and a run.
The Mavericks had trouble figuring out Illinois starting pitcher Kevin Johnson, who pitched 6.2 innings and struck out six without allowing an earned run.
“That is their all-time leading wins leader,” Thomas said. “We knew we were in for a pretty tough time. We knew we were going to have to get into a pitcher’s duel and he kept up his end of the bargain. You have to give him credit, he can pitch.”
UTA gave up another run in the top half of the fifth inning and before finding some offense in the sixth. McLemore started off the inning with a single to center field and scored two batters later.
Daniel Garcia hit a line drive right back at the pitcher, who through the ball away letting McLemore score. . Garcia crossed the plate two pitches later on a fly ball to center field from Justin Copeland to trim the lead to 5-2.