March 7, 2009
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - The UT Arlington baseball team scored all five of its runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by an inside the park, three-run home run by senior Jeff Storms, but it wasn't enough as Sam Houston State came back to win 7-5 in the middle game of both team's first conference series in Huntsville, Texas, at Don Sanders Stadium.
With UT Arlington trailing 3-0 going into the sixth inning, lead-off hitter Tim Steggall and left fielder Blake Holt led off with back-to-back singles. Following a walk to Michael Choice and a flyout by Matt Otteman, Andrew Kainer hit an RBI single and catcher Chad Comer scored Holt on a sacrifice fly to right field, cutting the Bearkats' lead to 3-2.
Storms' inside the park home run, the first home run of his career, was a line drive to center field that got by a head-first diving Justin Keithley. Junior relief pitcher Ryan Tepera allowed a single to first baseman Ryan Davis before ending the inning with a strikeout as the Mavericks grabbed a 5-3 lead.
Mavericks' starter Nathan Long ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth as he allowed a single and a walk before exiting the game after throwing 5 1/3 innings and recording seven strikeouts. UT Arlington reliever Ryan Martin came in the game and immediately allowed three straight singles that put Sam Houston State back in the lead, 6-5.
Tepera earned the victory in relief pitching 3 1/3 innings, allowing three hits, no runs and tallying four strikeouts. Martin was the losing pitcher allowing seven hits and two runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Choice (single) and pinch hitter Preston McCoy (double) were the only UT Arlington hitters to record a hit in the final three innings. Choice went 2-for-3, Kainer had a 2-for-4 performance with an RBI and Otteman went 1-for-4, improving his hit streak to 12 games. Otteman has posted at least one hit in every game this season while batting a team-high .458 in 48 at-bats.
Five Sam Houston State hitters tallied a multi-hit game, led by Keithley (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and shortstop Ryan Mooney (2-for-3, 2 RBI).
In addition, UT Arlington catcher Chad Comer threw out two Sam Houston State base runners attempting to steal, and he added a third assist on a throw to third base that was dropped that would have marked a third runner thrown out trying to steal. Comer has thrown out 58 percent (7-of-12) of would-be base stealers this season.
The Mavericks and Bearkats will conclude their three-game series on Saturday with a 1 p.m. first pitch at Don Sanders Stadium.