March 4, 2011
DALLAS, Tex. - UT Arlington starting pitcher Lance Day knew sooner or later he would get some run support.
After getting just two runs in his first two starts, that support came in bunches Friday night in the Mavericks' 13-2 victory over Dallas Baptist at Patriot Field.
Michael Guerra went 2-for-4 with an RBI-single and a two-run home run, leading the offensive onslaught. Preston Beck went 3-for-5 with three RBI and Chad Comer put together a three-hit night with a pair of RBI.
"We knew it was going to happen eventually," UTA coach Darin Thomas said. "It's been a while since we've done that. I was afraid we might come out a little flat after our big win yesterday but I'm proud of our effort and we were in the game from the get-go. I thought we really had some good at-bats and really had a good plan."
Day, meanwhile, pitched effectively, working out of trouble when he needed to and keeping the Patriots off the board through his first 7.0 innings of work.
"I located the fastball well tonight," Day said. "That's what I really wanted to do. No one likes to hit that so I just kept trying to throw it right there. I was able to locate, so it was alright."
His streak of 13.0 scoreless innings came to a close in the eighth when Duncan McAlpine clubbed a home run to lead off the inning.
Day finished the night throwing 8.0 innings, allowing just the two eighth-inning runs. He gave up seven hits, issuing two walks and striking out five in earning his first victory of the season.
Most importantly, Day (1-2) had plenty of offensive firepower backing his strong outing.
"I was starting to wonder if I was bad luck for them," Day joked. "They're swinging the bats really well right now and I knew it was just a matter of time until we opened the gates and just started pounding the ball."
The Mavs (4-5) struck first in the third inning when Beck drove in Ryan Walker with an RBI single.
UTA broke the game open in the fifth with a five-run frame. Philip Incaviglia, who notched three more hits and another RBI on Friday, started the rally with a leadoff double to right-center field. He scored two batters later when Guerra singled down the right-field line.
The Patriots (7-3) turned to the bullpen after Aaron Gilbreath walked Beck. Comer greeted DBU reliever Jordan Staples rudely with a two-run double down the left-field line, scoring Guerra and Beck.
Brian Nephew extended the lead a couple batters later when his two-out, RBI double scored Jordan Vaughn. Greg McCall brought home the final run of the inning on a single up the middle, scoring Nephew.
Guerra struck again in the sixth when he blasted a two-run home run over the left-field wall. The homer marked the Mavericks' first of the season and the first of Guerra's UTA career.
Guerra now has seven RBI in six games since moving from cleanup to second in the batting order.
"I guess it took a little bit of pressure off me," he said. "I owe it all really to (hitting coach) K.J. (Hendricks). K.J. told me to slow it all down, which I wasn't doing at the beginning of the season. He's the main reason I've been really seeing the ball. Now I've got an approach. I didn't have an approach at the beginning of the season."
Vaughn added another run in the inning when his two-out double off the left-field wall plated Comer.
Preston Morrow added the first hit of his UTA career in the eighth with an infield single.
UT Arlington looks to complete a perfect stint in the Dallas Baptist Invitational on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. when the Mavericks face New Orleans.
"It would be nice," Guerra said. "We're playing really well right now."