April 6, 2008
ARLINGTON, Texas - - UT Arlington rallied from a three-run deficit in the first inning and held on for a 6-5 victory against Sam Houston State on Sunday at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The come-from-behind victory - UTA's fifth win in its past six games - gives the Mavericks the Southland Conference series victory against the Bearkats and marks UTA's first series win of this season.
The Mavericks did it against the SLC's best offense, and they did it with solid pitching through the middle innings and clutch hitting in the first. UTA fell behind when Andy Sauter allowed one run before a two-run homer by Heath Pugh put the Bearkats up 3-0.
The Mavericks (12-19, 5-7 in the SLC) answered quickly, getting four in the bottom of the inning.
From there Sauter (3-2) settled in and earned the victory for seven full innings of work.
"The team needed seven or eight innings out of me today, so that's what I was hoping to give," Sauter said. I just needed to keep the ball down after the first. I knew we'd be OK if I settled down because our offense has been playing very well lately."
Jeff Storms drove in two runs with a single, and one batter later, Evan Raley drove in two with a single to center to give UTA a 4-3 lead. Sam Houston (17-13, 6-6) quickly went to its bullpen, pulling starter Zach Neal (3-2) in favor of Guillaume Duguay.
UTA chased Duguay with two more runs in the fourth.
Much like the first, UTA did its damage with two outs.
Jay Pitschka started the inning with a double. David McLeod was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Two batters later, Danny Slinkman hit a two-out double to make it 6-3.
Sauter continued to battle, allowing just one run from the second into the eighth inning and leaving with a 6-4 lead and a runner on second in favor of Mavericks freshman right-hander Rett Varner. The inherited runner scored after a single, but Varner retired the next three batters to get out of the inning.
Sam Houston State made it 6-5 eighth.then threatened again in the ninth by putting one runner on base against Varner. UTA went to freshman right-hander Marcus Limon with one on and two out.
Limon (2) allowed a single before getting a pop up to end the game and pick up his second save.
"It's big to win the series," Thomas said. "We thought we should have taken two of three in the Texas State series. Then we come out here after losing (Saturday) and give up three runs in the first. It's nice to come right back at them in the bottom of the inning. It's good for our confidence."
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