March 4, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington used 20 hits - five for extra-bases - to take down BYU 17-2 in its first night game of the season on Thursday evening at Clay Gould Ballpark. UT Arlington's (3-5) Jason Mitchell earned his first win of the season pitching 7.0 innings while allowing two runs with six strikeouts while BYU (3-6) suffered its second straight loss.
Thursday's meeting was the first ever between the Mavericks and Cougars.
"We have really been facing some good pitching and finally tonight we broke out," UT Arlington head coach Darin Thomas said. "It was good to score some runs and it was nice to have a cushion, we haven't had a cushion all year."
The Mavericks were led by six players with multi-hits, including Chad Comer who went 4-for-4 with three RBI and by Michael Choice's 2-for-4 day with three runs, two walks and a three-run homer in the fourth inning.
"I think we had great approaches today at the plate," Comer said. "We didn't try to do too much and when we worked our way into hitters' counts and got our pitch we didn't miss it. We have made some adjustments at the plate and I think it just comes from everyone working hard."
First baseman Shane Hopkins went 2-for-5 with three runs and a pair of doubles, designated hitter Steffan Guest went 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI and Jesse Payne added three hits (3-for-4, 3 runs) while freshman right fielder Preston Beck went 4-for-5 with four singles in his final four at-bats.
"I've been working a lot with K.J. (Hendricks) on my swing trying to get it shortened up," Beck said. "I thought my swing felt really good tonight and finally the results showed up. That was a big win for us, that is a good team who has beaten some quality opponents this year."
The Mavericks broke a 1-1 tie scoring seven runs in the fourth inning while sending 13 batters to the plate. Guest started the inning with a single to center field, and following Beck's flyout to left field, Comer, Brian Nephew and Payne tallied three consecutive singles. After Daniel Jordan reached base on an error by the first baseman, Nick Orr and Hopkins reached base on back-to-back walks and then scored on Choice's third home run of the season on a 2-0 pitch over the right field wall.
Mitchell allowed only three base hits from the third to sixth inning. He struck out Brandon Relf to start the third and after allowing a single up the middle, he got clean-up batter Jonathan Cluff to ground into a 5-4-3 inning-ending, double-play. He sat the Cougars down in order in the fourth inning and allowed just a single in the fifth before striking out three batters in the sixth.
"My arm didn't feel quite as good as it did last weekend, but I just battled through it and made it work," Mitchell said. "It felt great (when asked about getting some runs) after the fourth where I was able to just settle in and try and go a few more innings."
UT Arlington kept the hits and runs coming scoring five runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and two in the eighth inning with seven hits coming during that span.
Maverick relievers Brian Watson and Stephen Krolick pitched the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, while neither pitcher allowed a base hit. Krolick made his collegiate debut in the ninth and struck out the first batter he faced.
The Mavericks and Cougars will resume their three-game series on Friday, March 5, with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch at Clay Gould Ballpark.