MAVERICKS BLAST SAM HOUSTON STATE, 17-7
April 4, 2008
ARLINGTON, Texas - - Four UT Arlington baseball players had at least three hits each as the Mavericks pounded Sam Houston State pitching early and cruised to a 17-7 victory at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The victory extends a season-high win streak to four, but more importantly, opens a crucial Southland Conference series with a victory. UTA (11-18, 4-6) and Sam Houston (16-12, 5-5) continue the series with Game 2 today at 2 p.m.
"I think we're starting to come together, and there is a positive feeling running through our team right now," UTA designated hitter Danny Slinkman said. "We hit the ball, we had great defensive plays up the middle, and we got some good pitching. We need to keep this going the rest of the weekend."
Friday's victory came in front of fans who also enjoyed a ceremony beforehand that kicked off the Miracle League baseball season.
By the time folks got comfortable, UTA had a 9-0 lead.
The Mavericks scored four runs in the first off Sam Houston starter Ryan Tepera (2-2), then knocked the right-hander out of the game in the second. By the time the second inning was over, UTA had scored nine runs.
It was more than enough for Mavericks junior left-hander Ryan Robinson (2-3), who held the Bearkats in check until the sixth. Sam Houston scored five runs in that inning, but by that time, UTA's offense still had a 14-6 lead. The Mavericks added three more in the bottom of the sixth as the seven-inning mercy rule started to creep into the minds of Clay Gould Ballpark fans.
Sam Houston managed one run in the seventh off UTA right-handed reliever Ryan Martin.
"It's good when you face four batters in the first, put up a zero and your offense comes out and puts up four runs like that," said Robinson, who allowed just five hits. "You have to pitch every out like it's zero to zero, but having a lead like that does allow you to relax out there a little bit. The offense really did a great job today. If we can take care of things (Saturday), we'll be in really good shape."
UTA had several offensive stars, led by Slinkman's 2-for-5 day that included a bases-clearing double, two walks and five runs batted in. David McLeod went 4-for-5. Brock Wilson, who is now hitting .500 since coming back three games ago from an arm injury, went 3-for-4 with four runs scored. Matt Otteman went 3-for-5, and Jeff Storms went 3-for-4.
The Mavericks have now scored 46 runs in the current four-game win streak. That includes a Sunday victory last weekend against UTSA and a double-header sweep on Tuesday against UT Pan American.
"It started with that game against UT San Antonio," Slinkman said. "We played really well in that game and then got the wins on Tuesday. In this game, we came out focused from the very beginning."
UTA will send right-hander Nathan Long to the mound on Saturday.