March 9, 2007
ARLINGTON, Texas - The UT Arlington baseball team fell behind early, but continued to chip away at the lead and eventually tied the game in the ninth before winning, 8-7, on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning. The victory was the fourth walk-off victory for the Mavs this season.
The rally started as Mitch Putman drew a one-out walk and Collin Garner followed with a fly ball to left center that turned into a double after the left fielder fell down. After an intentional walk to Leo Radkowski, Ben Burum delivered a fly ball into shallow right center field. Third base coach Darin Thomas sent Putman and when the throw got by the catcher, Putman was safe and the Mavs were victorious.
The Fighting Illini (2-5) got on the board in the first inning as Shawn Roof delivered a one-out single to right center. On the next pitch, he stole second and went to third on the throwing error by the catcher. Daniel Webb drove in the runner with a groundout to first.
UI added to its lead in the second inning as they loaded the bases with no outs and got a sacrifice fly of the bat of Joe Bondadonna and a two-run single up the middle off the bat of Kyle Hudson.
UTA (7-10) got back into the game as they loaded the bases with one out on a Ben Burum walk, Brock Wilson hit by pitch and Jerry Fisher single into right center. David McLeod drove in the first run with a fielder's choice to third and Daniel Rieder followed a wild pitch with a two-run single back through the box.
The Illini came right back in the third and got a sacrifice fly from Mike Giller and an RBI single off the bat of Bonadonna.
UI got another run in the fifth as a one-out hit-by-pitch scored when a fly ball was dropped down the left-field line off the bat of Giller.
UTA responded with a run of their own in the home-half of the inning as Putman drew a walk and scored from first when Danny Slinkman roped a double into the gap in right center.
The Mavs got even closer in the seventh as Rieder drew a walk and scored on Slinkman's second double of the game. Following a walk, Radkowski scored a run with a groundout.
UTA finally battled all the way back as Putman delivered a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, his team leading fourth of the season.
Nathan Long was the story on the mound for the Mavs as he came in and threw seven shutout-innings of relief, allowing just two hits and striking out five. Brandon Endsley (2-1) picked up the victory by allowing one hit in his only inning of work. Brian Long (0-1) took the loss for the Illini as he gave up two runs on three hits in 2.2 innings of relief.
Rieder and Slinkman each drove in a pair of runs for UTA, while Putman scored three times.
The Mavs and Illini will play the second game of the three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. at Clay Gould Ballpark.