March 15, 2011
ARLINGTON, Tex. - Jordan Vaughn's RBI double in the eighth lifted UT Arlington past No. 9 TCU 3-2 Tuesday night at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The win marked the first for UTA (9-7) over the Horned Frogs since March 7, 2004.
"We've been getting close and we play a very, very tough schedule," said UTA coach Darin Thomas, who beat TCU for the first time in eight tries as head coach. "I told them it can beat you up a little bit. We played well against OU except in the eighth and lose 4-3. I thought we played well at TCU last week. We've been getting close and it's good that we know we can beat these types of teams."
Even after Vaughn's double scored Preston Beck, the victory didn't come easy. The Horned Frogs loaded the bases with one out in the ninth before Adam Boydston got Joe Weik to fly out to center and Brance Rivera to ground out to second to end the game.
The save marked Boydston's third of the season and set off a celebration seven years in the waiting.
"I can't describe it," fifth-year senior Chad Comer said. "It's awesome. This was my last chance against them - unless we see them in a Regional. Hopefully we'll see them again somewhere. I can't tell you how ecstatic I am."
John Beck (1-0) earned the win in a stellar effort out of the bullpen. The true freshman, in his longest outing of the season, pitched 4.1 innings while limiting TCU to two runs on four hits with five strikeouts.
John Beck entered the game with two outs in the fourth with runners on second and third. He got out of the jam by getting a flyout to end the threat.
"It was outstanding," Thomas said. "It's the best he's thrown and it's the most he's thrown. He's been good for us."
The relief effort from John Beck came on the heels of Adam Westbrook's longest outing of the season. The southpaw lasted 3.2 scoreless innings, holding the Horned Frogs (10-6) without a hit. He walked three, hit a batter and struck out three.
TCU struck first in the fifth inning when Brance Rivera's double down the left-field line plated Brett Johnson from second. The damage could have been worse, but Daniel Jordan threw Rivera out trying to score from second on an infield single to short.
Ryan Walker tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a two-out single to right field. Brian Nephew scored on the play and Jordan tried to follow, but TCU right fielder Zac Jordan threw him out at the plate to end the inning.
UTA took a short-lived lead in the seventh when Nephew scored on an error.
However, the Horned Frogs tied the game with one out in the eighth on Jantzen Witte's one-out solo home run.
That set the stage for Vaughn, who came through when his team needed it most. Vaughn, who had been mired in a slump coming into the at-bat, entered the game as a defensive replacement for Cody Dyvig, who started at first base. Thomas rolled the dice with two outs and put on the hit-and-run with Preston Beck on first.
Vaughn executed it to perfection, lofting a well-placed double into the right-field corner. Beck scored from first sending the near-sellout crowd of 1,347 into a frenzy.
"I don't think it's a surprise that I came off the bench because I've been struggling lately," Vaughn said. "To be able to come in and contribute like that felt unbelievable.
"I'm up there and get off-speed right away 0-1. Then I see a ball and it's 1-1. I'm still looking fastball, I get a ball away and I got my bat there."
Michael Morales and Boydston shut down the Horned Frogs in the ninth, albeit in dramatic fashion.
Nephew finished the night 3-for-4 with a double and a pair of runs scored.
"That was probably the best baseball game I've ever played in that I can remember," Nephew said.
Walker and Preston Beck added two hits apiece.
The Mavs play again Wednesday night when they host Louisiana Tech at Clay Gould Ballpark at 6:30 p.m.
"I told them we've still got to play tomorrow," said Thomas, who knocked off a top-10 team for the third time in his head-coaching career. "It will be tough because it is spring break. We've got to come out and be ready to play tomorrow, but we can enjoy this one at least for tonight."