Baseball shocks No. 19 Wichita State
March 3, 2011
The win in the first game of the Dallas Baptist Invitational marked the 10th victory over a ranked opponent in Darin Thomas' four-year stint as UTA head coach.
"I think it means a little more during the game because it gets you amped up and ready to play a little more, but afterwards I don't know what it means," Thomas said. "I do know this: That's five games in a row I thought we've played very well. That's a program we have a ton of respect for."
Pritchard struggled with control for much of his start, walking five, but battled out of trouble for much of the game. He held the Shockers to two hits and struck out four.
His best Houdini act came in the fourth when a bloop hit sandwiched by walks loaded the bases with nobody out. However, Pritchard (1-0) worked out of the jam allowing just one run by giving up a sacrifice fly to Erik Harbutz and inducing Dayne Parker to hit into a double play on a nice defensive effort from Michael Guerra.
"I thought Pritchard hung in there and worked around some walks," Thomas said. "He fought through it."
Pritchard also broke the team's first-inning hex, holding an opponent scoreless in the first inning for the first time all year. The junior southpaw retired the side in order.
Pritchard became the first UTA starter all season to earn a win.
UTA's bats, meanwhile, struck early against WSU starter Charlie Lowell, who entered the game on a 31.1 consecutive innings streak of not allowing an earned run.
Chad Comer broke that streak early when his sacrifice fly scored Ryan Walker in the first.
Walker led off the inning with a double to right field, marking the first extra-base hit Lowell gave up in three starts and also the first hit he gave up to a left-handed hitter this year.
Incaviglia increased the Mavs' lead in the second when his RBI single to right-center field scored Greg McCall in the second inning, making the score 2-0. The hit marked the first in Incaviglia's UTA career.
After Wichita State (7-1) pulled to within a run in the fourth, the Mavs added four in the sixth.
Comer started the rally with a double. Jordan Vaughn and Brian Nephew followed with RBI doubles and Daniel Jordan drove home Nephew with a double down the left-field line. The Mavs (3-5) tacked on one more when Jordan scored on Incaviglia's second RBI single.
Every UTA starter recorded at least one hit and Thomas singled out the production from the bottom of his lineup.
"I thought Daniel and Philip gave us a big lift at the bottom of the order against a top lefty," Thomas said. "They centered up the ball and Daniel made a couple of really nice plays at shortstop."
John Beck held the Shockers scoreless during his first 2.0 innings before running out of gas in the 8th. Wichita State got a RBI double from Harbutz to pull to within four and knocking John Beck out of the game.
Brody Walker extinguished the threat by retiring the next two hitters - Micah Green on an RBI groundout and Don Lambert on strikes.
Adam Westbrook worked a scoreless ninth to earn his first save.
"I couldn't be more proud of our bullpen," Thomas said.
UT Arlington plays Dallas Baptist in the Patriots' home tournament Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Patriot Field.