SEVEN-RUN EIGHTH COMPLETES SWEEP OF ILLINOIS
March 11, 2007
ARLINGTON, Texas - The UT Arlington baseball team has been known for their ninth-inning comebacks this season. In the series finale against Illinois, the Mavericks exploded in the eighth inning as they collected six hits and pushed across seven runs to break open a tie game and complete the sweep of the Illini with a 12-5 victory Sunday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The inning started with Danny Slinkman being hit by a pitch and Matthew Otteman putting down a sacrifice bunt. Ben Burum would follow with a walk and Kyle Rudy would drive in the game-winning run with a double down the right-field line. Leo Radkowski followed with a two-run single to left center just out of the reach of a leaping shortstop.
David Masters put runners on the corners with a successful hit-and-run to right field. Brock Wilson delivered an RBI single through the right side and Putman would later deliver a two-run single just over the head of the third baseman. Lance Nobile would close out the scoring with a bloop single to right center.
The Illini (2-7) got on the board in the first inning as Ryan Snowden and Brandon Wikoff started the game with base hits and Daniel Webb drove in a run with a single into left center.
The Mavs (9-10) answered back with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the inning as Daniel Rieder reached on an error with one out before Slinkman delivered a two-out hit and Otteman plated Rieder with a single to center field. Burum gave the Mavs the lead with a single through the left side.
UI regained the lead in the third as Wikoff drew a one-out walk and scored on Lars Davis' two-run home run to right field, the team's first of the season.
The Illini added another run in the fifth as Brandon Hudson walked and stole second. After advancing to third on a flyout, Wikoff drove in the runner with a groundout to second.
Mike Giller added to the Illini lead in the sixth as he followed Daniel Webb's double to left center with an RBI single up the middle against the drawn-in infield.
UTA got back into the game in the bottom of the sixth as Slinkman delivered a one-out single to right center and Otteman followed with an opposite field home run, the first of his career.
The Mavs tied the game in the seventh as Masters tripled to right center to start the inning and scored on Wilson's groundout to short.
Otteman, the former Mr. Baseball in the state of Illinois, finished the game 3-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs and a walk. Slinkman, Burum and Masters each collected two hits.
Brandon Endsley (2-1) picked up the victory as he pitched two scoreless innings. Billy Barrett (1-1) took the loss after giving up five runs on three hits in one inning.
The Mavs return to the diamond on Tuesday, March 13, as they play host to Mississippi State. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Clay Gould Ballpark.