March 10, 2006
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT-Arlington second baseman Daniel Rieder delivered a one-out RBI single through the left side in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Mavericks completed an improbable comeback by scoring five runs in the eighth inning and the game-winner in the ninth in a 10-9 victory over Southland Conference preseason favorite Northwestern State in the conference opener for both teams Friday evening at Clay Gould Ballpark.
Kyle Rudy started the ninth inning by drawing a walk and was sacrificed to second by Brock Wilson. Rieder followed by depositing the 2-1 pitch into the hole on the left side and Rudy raced home and was safe as the catcher could not handle the throw from left field.
"I was thinking to just wait back and try to hit the ball the other way," said Rieder. "I knew he had a tailing fastball and I needed to go with it."
The Mavs (5-13, 1-0 SLC) entered the eighth inning trailing 9-4, but were able to push across five runs on four hits against NSU closer Dereck Cloeren in the inning.
Danny Slinkman started the inning with a single to right field and Ben Burum drew a pinch-hit walk. After a strikeout and a fielder's choice, Rieder drew a walk to load the bases. David McLeod drove in a pair of runs with a single up the middle and Adam Moore followed with a two-RBI double to right field. Robby Winn drove in the tieing run with a chopper back through the middle.
"Our guys never gave up," said head coach Jeff Curtis. "Even when we were down four of five runs, we kept having good at-bats. That is one thing we haven't been doing the last two or three weeks. Once we got the starter out our right-handers started getting some big hits. Robby Winn and Adam Moore got big hits to tie the game for us and that was big for Robby cause he has been struggling. It was a credit to everybody cause there were a lot of big hits in that game."
The Demons (10-7, 0-1 SLC) got on the board in the second inning as Michael Flower ripped a one-out double just inside the bag at third. After advancing on a passed ball, Knox McCorquodale drove in the run with a sacrifice fly to left center.
UTA tied the game in the home half of the inning as David Newby doubled off the left field line and went to third on Slinkman's single through the right side. Thad Ledford drove in the run with a sacrifice bunt to first base.
The wheels came off for the Mavs in the third inning as a pair of errors and the failure to field two bunts led to six Demon runs. Michael Palermo started the inning by getting hit with the first pitch. Marty Dewees put down a bunt that was not fielded, putting two runners on for Brandon Morgan to deliver an RBI single through the left side. Another bunt from Flower turned into a single to load the bases with nobody out. After a strikeout, a could-be double-play ball to short turned into a two-run error. McCorquodale followed with an RBI double and Ben Rodriguez delivered a two-run single to close out the scoring.
UTA got a pair of runs back in the fourth inning as Slinkman was hit by a pitch and Ledford followed with a single to right center. With two outs, Rieder plated both runners with a double into the gap in right center.
The Mavs continued to chip away in the sixth inning as Slinkman singled into the hole at short and came in to score on Rudy's single up the middle.
NSU got the run back in the seventh inning as Rodriguez singled to left field and went to second on a passed ball. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third, Nathan Long uncorked a wild pitch to allow the run to score.
The Demons pushed the lead to five in the eighth as Barbier singled down the left field line and scored on a Flower single up the middle.
Chris Taylor (1-1) picked up the victory as he pitched a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout. Daniel Clark (0-2) took the loss as he allowed on run on one hit in two-thirds of an inning.
Slinkman and Winn led the Mavs 14 hit parade with three hits each. Rieder and McLeod each added a pair of hits. Rieder drove in three, while McLeod and Moore plated two. Rodriguez led the Demons with four hits.
The Mavs and Demons will play the second game of the series tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. at Clay Gould Ballpark. UTA will send RHP Dillon Gee (1-4, 7.50 ERA) to the mound and the Demons will counter with RHP Heath Hennigan (2-0, 2.30 ERA).