March 29, 2009
THIBODAUX, La. - Sophomore Michael Choice went 3-for-5 with a home run and a triple to lead UT Arlington to a 6-5 win over Nicholls in 10 innings to complete the Southland Conference series sweep on Sunday afternoon at Ray E. Didier Field in Thibodaux. The Mavericks came back from a 5-1 deficit to win their seventh straight SLC game and to claim their second consecutive conference series sweep.
UT Arlington improves to 15-11 overall and to 8-4 in the SLC while Nicholls drops to 11-13 overall and to 5-7 in conference play.
Choice hit a solo home run in the first inning - his third of the season - on a towering shot that cleared the bank of lights in left-center field to give the Mavericks their only run and hit of the game until the seventh inning.
The Colonels erupted for four runs on five hits in the first inning off Mavericks starting pitcher Rett Varner. UT Arlington faced more trouble in the first inning as starting right fielder Andrew Kainer suffered an injury that forced him to leave the game after diving for a ball in the right-center field gap.
The Mavericks went hitless from the second-to-sixth inning before Choice, who had their only hit at that point, recorded a single up the middle to get the Mavs started in the seventh. Senior Matt Otteman followed with a single to left field, which gives Otteman a 26-game hit streak, tying the UT Arlington all-time record set by Clay Gould in 1993.
The Mavericks scored two runs in the eighth inning, cutting Nicholls' lead to 5-4, as Ryan Davis led off the inning with a walk and later scored on Evan Raley's triple, and then Raley scored on a sacrifice fly by Jay Pitschka.
Ryan Robinson entered in relief of Varner in the bottom of the fourth inning and followed with six-scoreless innings to earn his second win of the season. Robinson allowed only three hits and one walk with a strikeout.
Choice led off the Mavericks' 10th inning with a triple off the center field wall and then scored on Otteman's sacrifice fly to right field.
Junior right-handed pitcher Jason Mitchell entered in the bottom of the 10th for the Mavs and finished the game without allowing a base hit in the inning to record his second save of the season.
UT Arlington will play a mid-week road game on Wednesday, April 1, at No. 16 TCU for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth.
UT Arlington is now 33-23 all-time against Nicholls, with a 15-12 record in Thibodaux... It is the Mavericks first sweep over Nicholls in Thibodaux since 1999 (12-10, 9-0, 9-1)... It is the Mavericks first series victory over Nicholls since 2006 (Arlington) and their first series win in Thibodaux since winning two of three in 2005... UTA has now won seven straight conference games for the first time since 2006 (swept Northwestern State and Nicholls at home and swept Stephen F. Austin on the road)... The Mavericks have won 10 of their last 12 games overall... It is the first time UTA has swept back-to-back SLC series since 2006 (swept Nicholls at home and swept Stephen F. Austin on the road)... UTA is now 2-1 in extra-inning games this season and 2-0 in extra inning games in the SLC (lost 4-3 in 10 innings at then-No. 4 Texas; won 3-2 at home against UTSA)... Darin Thomas improves his career record to 41-42 overall with a 24-18 record in Southland Conference games... The Mavericks are now 15-11 overall, marking the fastest the UTA baseball team has won 15 games since 2004 (25 games - 15-10)... Matt Otteman's single to left field in the 7th inning ties him with Clay Gould (1993) for the longest hit streak in UTA history at 26 games... Otteman is batting .459 (50-for-109) during his hit streak, which started on Opening Day (2/20)... Otteman now has 10 doubles, four triples, four home runs and 35 RBI in 26 games... Andrew Kainer left the game in the bottom of the first inning before recording an official plate appearance holding his career-high hit streak at 14 games... Ryan Davis hit a single to left-center field in the top of the 9th inning to extend his career-high hit streak to 11 games... Davis is batting .385 (15-for-39) with two doubles, a triple and seven RBI during his 11 game streak... Davis leads the Mavericks with a .538 (7-for-13) average in SLC series finales, and is tied with Matt Otteman for a team-leading five RBI in final games of conference series... In addition, in game three of conference weekends, UTA's pitching staff owns a 2.83 ERA... During the Mavericks past 12 games where they have gone 10-2, catcher Chad Comer has thrown out 12-of-17 (71 percent) would-be base stealers... During their past 12 games, UTA has a .964 fielding percentage, a 2.94 ERA and 38 two-out RBI... In addition, UTA is batting .471 (8-for-17) with the bases loaded during its past 12 games... The Mavericks recorded nine hits on Sunday, marking the seventh straight conference game they have had at least eight base hits... The Maverick pitching staff has now held conference opponents to five runs or less in nine straight games... The Mavericks pitching staff has allowed four home runs during conference play, including only one (vs. Northwestern State) in their last nine games - 81 innings)... The Mavericks pitching staff posted 27 strikeouts against Nicholls in the three-game conference series - their most against any conference opponent in an SLC series this season... UTA is now 15-3 this season when holding its opponent to five runs or less... Sunday's come-from-behind win is the Mavericks first this victory this season when trailing after seven innings.