Baseball tops Sam Houston State, 8-4

March 12, 2011

Final Stats

HUNTSVILLE, Tex. - Brian Nephew and Ryan Walker each had two RBI in leading UT Arlington past Sam Houston State, 8-4, Saturday afternoon at Sanders Stadium.

The Mavericks (7-7, 1-1) scored two runs in the first and never trailed. UTA's win snapped the Bearkats' 11-game win streak.

"I thought we did a good job early in the game so we could run and steal some bases," UTA coach Darin Thomas said. "That certainly helps."

Chad Comer put the Mavs on the board in the initial frame with a run-scoring single to drive in Michael Guerra. Preston Beck later scored on a balk.

UTA padded its lead in the second when Ryan Walker's single to right field plated Daniel Jordan, who led off the inning with a double into the left-field corner.

Philip Incaviglia, who had two hits, scored later in the inning when he stole third and SHSU catcher John Hale's throw sailed into left field.

Sam Houston State (12-3, 1-1) got on the board in the second and struck again in the third, making the score 4-2.

UTA responded with a run on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly that Nephew hit to the warning track. SHSU left fielder Payton Wisener made a jumping catch against the fence, taking away an extra-base hit, but Guerra easily scored from third.

The Mavs just missed more runs when SHSU right fielder Greg Olson made a diving catch on the warning track, robbing Jake Pinchback of a two-run extra-base hit.



Finally in the eighth, the Mavs broke the game open on Incaviglia's RBI infield hit and Walker's RBI groundout. Nephew drove in another run in the ninth when his single up the middle scored Beck, who led off the inning with a double into the right-center field gap.

Brody Walker threw 2.0 scoreless innings in picking up the win, his first of the year.

Michael Morales pitched around a one-out walk in the eighth. He also threw a perfect ninth to earn the first save of his UTA career.

Mavs starter Calan Pritchard lasted just 3.0 innings, but at times helped his own cause by inducing the Bearkats to hit into two double plays in the first three innings. UTA finished the day with four double plays.

Thomas was especially happy with the double plays considering Jordan and Walker - and not projected starters Jesse Payne and Guerra - manned the middle infield spots.

"Ryan Walker's very versatile," Thomas said. "Daniel Jordan's been very good for us defensively. He had a big double today and those guys were huge for us. We don't have a ton of position guys so they know they will get a chance to play. I think that keeps them sharp."

However, Pritchard's wildness hurt himself in the third. After getting his second double play, Pritchard hit the next two batters, walked Mark Hudson and then hit Greg Olson, giving Sam Houston State its second run.

"We've got to quit walking people," Thomas said. "These guys are free-swingers and I really think we need to do a better job of locating.

"Morales did an unbelievable job of settling the game down and he's been doing that all year. He's been very valuable."

Morales' 2.0 scoreless innings run his streak to 10.2 scoreless.

Guerra finished with two hits and two runs.

UTA tallied 10 hits, marking the seventh consecutive game in which they have produced at least 10. The last time the team accomplished the feat was in 2004.

The Mavs and Bearkats square off in the rubber game of the series Sunday at 1 p.m.


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