BSB: McLemore and Shortall lead Mavs past A-State
March 22, 2014
Sunday Probable Starters
ARLINGTON, Texas – Darien McLemore and Matt Shortall each drove in three runs, as UT Arlington won its first Sun Belt Conference game by beating Arkansas State 6-2 Saturday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The Mavericks snapped a four-game conference losing streak to open their first season in the Sun Belt. UT Arlington, 8-15 overall and 1-4 in league action, can pick up a series win in Sunday's rubber game. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
"It was an offensive day weather-wise with the wind blowing out, the ball was carrying," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "To only give up two (runs); I was really proud of our staff. Zach [Hobbs], again, did an unbelievable job. Three-and-a third, one hit and no runs, you can't ask for anything more in long relief."
UT Arlington took its first lead in the series (2-1) in the second inning on McLemore's single up to middle to score Greg McCall. McLemore drilled another into center in the sixth to bring Justin Copeland home for a 3-1 advantage.
McLemore finished off a 4-4 afternoon with a solo home run to left in the eighth. The sophomore second baseman tied his career high in hits and RBI, in addition to hitting his first-ever homer at Clay Gould Ballpark.
"I was just seeing the ball well," McLemore said.
The game opened with the teams trading solo home runs in the first. ASU went up 1-0 on Austin Baker's shot to right-center, with the Mavericks tying the game on Shortall's bomb to left-center.
Shortall went 5-5, the third game of his career with five hits. Shortall went into his final at-ball in the eighth needing a triple to hit for the cycle. He came up just inches short, getting thrown out at third after driving home UTA's final two runs.
"You don't get that opportunity very often," Shortall said of the cycle. "I hit it and I knew it was in the right spot, the outfielders were playing back so I decided I might as well stretch it. If it was a little closer ballgame, I might stick at second there, but you have to give it a shot."
The Mavericks escaped a base-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth unscathed. Hobbs, who had come on for starter Jess Amedee, coaxed a chopper back to the mind to start a 1-2-3 double-play.
UTA pitchers allowed just seven hits. Hobbs, a junior college transfer, collected his first win UTA after pitching 3.1 shutout innings. Chase Weaver came on to record the final out and his first save of the season.