March 31, 2012
By Luke Brietzke for UTAMAVS.com
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington used a seven-run seventh to reclaim the lead over Central Arkansas in its 13-8 win over Saturday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark.
Ryan Walker provided the big hit in the seventh when he laced a two-run single down the first-base line to tie the game and give the Mavericks (16-11, 5-6) the lead. The sophomore shortstop finished 4-for-5 with a double, three RBI and three runs scored.
"I remembered the scouting report (on reliever Dylan Owen) and just waited for a pitch I could handle," Walker said. "It felt good to come up with the big hit today.
"We are really trying right now not to put too much pressure on ourselves. We just want to keep grinding and keep working hard. Hopefully we can go out and get another win tomorrow."
Preston Beck and Matt Shortall added two hits and three RBI apiece in the win. Shortall blasted his fourth home run of the season when he launched one over the right-field wall in the fourth. Beck drove in the first run of the game with a first-inning sacrifice fly and added a two-run single in the seventh.
Reliever Chase Weaver limited the Bears (11-13, 5-6) to just one run over the final 2 1/3 innings to earn his first win of the season.
"Chase did a good job for us today," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "We are always looking for guys to come out of the bullpen and give us some solid innings and keep our opponents at bay."
UTA starter Lance Day cruised into the fourth and got to within a pitch of getting out of trouble when Garrett Brown lined a double into left field to drive home the Bears' first run. After the fourth, though, Day started struggling with his control early in counts and it cost him.
The senior right-hander lasted into the seventh but left in a tie game after another two-out hit tied the game at 6.
"Lance certainly didn't have his best stuff today," Thomas said. "The best thing about him is you know when you hand him the ball that day that he is going to battle. He was in spots a few times today where one more pitch or a bouncing ball hit at someone instead of into no-man's land and he could have gotten out of some innings with no damage done."
Central Arkansas took the lead after chasing Day when Logan Moon greeted Weaver with an RBI single up the middle.
The Mavericks countered in the bottom of the inning with the seven-spot to give them their third consecutive victory.
"What nice is whenever they scored we answered right back," Thomas said. "They scored in the fourth; we scored three. They scored two in the fifth; we scored two. They score four in the seventh and we hang seven on them.
"That could be the sign of a team really coming together."
UT Arlington and Central Arkansas face off tomorrow in their finale of the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
BSB: Seventh Inning Dooms Mavs in Sun Belt Championships
BSB: Mavs Open Sun Belt Championship with Arkansas State
BSB: Sun Belt Championships Washed Out, Again
BSB: Darin Thomas Named Sun Belt Coach of the Year
BSB: Mavs Earn No. 2 Seed in Sun Belt Championship
BSB: Texas State Claims Series Finale in 10