April 1, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas - Jason Mitchell threw his first career complete-game shutout leading UT Arlington to a 4-0 victory over Nicholls on Thursday night in a two hour and seven minute game at Clay Gould Ballpark.
Mitchell (4-2) allowed only three base hits and didn't walk a batter with nine strikeouts in his third straight complete game for the Mavericks (13-13, 6-4 SLC). He threw 100 pitches (72 strikes) in his seventh start of the season while not allowing a Colonel past second base.
Nicholls drops its third straight game and falls to 13-12 overall and to 4-6 in the Southland Conference.
"Jason pitched great," UT Arlington head coach Darin Thomas said. "He is really spoiling us because we didn't even have to get somebody warmed up. He did a nice job not inviting trouble. He didn't walk anyone and they didn't even have solid contact against him."
Mitchell had five perfect innings and twice faced only three batters in an inning with a pair of double plays to his benefit. In fact, Mitchell was included in both double plays as he caught a bunt that was popped up in the fifth inning by third baseman Beau Faulk and threw to shortstop Jesse Payne at second base for the twin killing. He also ended the game with a 1-6-3 groundball double play off the bat of Chase Jaramillo in the ninth.
"I've just tried to go out there and throw quality pitches," Mitchell said. "I was really relaxed and just threw to my spots. It makes things a lot easier for me when our defense makes plays, and they did a great job of doing that tonight."
There were only two innings (first and eighth) when Nicholls sent more than three batters to the plate where both innings only four Nicholls' batters entered the batter's box.
The Mavericks did tally 10 base hits, but plated only three runs in a game that saw 20-plus mile per hour wind blowing in from left field.
One shot the wind couldn't detour came off the bat of freshman left fielder Taylor Mabra in the third inning as he doubled off the top of the right-center field wall to drive in Jesse Payne giving the Mavericks their first run of the game.
"He just threw it right down the middle and I hit it hard," Mabra said of his double to right center. "It's a great start for us in this series, a very big win for us."
UT Arlington added to its lead scoring one run in the fifth inning as Daniel Jordan singled to lead off the inning and then advanced to second on a wild pitch and then not only advanced to third but scored on another wild pitch by Nicholls starting pitcher Jarret Dunnam.
Dunnam (2-3) took the loss for the Colonels pitching 6.1 innings giving up two runs on eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Mavericks catcher Chad Comer gave UTA insurance runs in the eighth inning belting a double to right field that scored pinch runner Bryant Lopez from second base. Freshman right fielder Preston Beck also scored on the play following an errant throw home by second baseman Ray Eureste.
Comer led the Mavericks at the plate going 3-for-4 while Beck added a two-hit effort going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Comer improved his hit streak to 14 games, which is the longest active streak in the Southland Conference.
Mavericks center fielder Michael Choice went 1-for-3 and reached base twice in four plate appearances. He has now reached base safely in 38 straight games dating back to last season. Choice, a preseason All-American by four publications, is leading the Mavericks batting .391 with 11 home runs, 29 RBI, 29 walks and with a .815 slugging percentage and a .532 on-base percentage.
UT Arlington and Nicholls are scheduled to continue their conference series on Friday with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch at Clay Gould Ballpark.