April 11, 2014
ATLANTA, Georgia – UT Arlington couldn't hold on to a late-inning lead in Friday night's 11-10 loss to Georgia State in a Sun Belt Conference series opener at GSU Baseball Complex.
The Mavericks dropped to 14-20 overall and 6-7 in conference. The Panthers improved to 17-18 and 5-8. The three-game series resumes Saturday at 1 p.m. CT.
The Mavericks were without three starters in the field, and that showed up early with uncharacteristic errors.
"You've got some guys moved around into some spots they're normally not playing, but that's no excuse," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "We've got to play better. Anytime you score 10, you should win.
"We struggled defensively early, we got back in it and then we struggled out of the 'pen late. We've just got to bounce back tomorrow."
Georgia State scored four runs in the seventh and eighth innings against UTA's bullpen to erase a 9-7 deficit. Three runs were scored in the eighth, with the big blow being a two-out double that left-fielder Ryan Bottger couldn't hold on to after hitting the wall.
The game couldn't have started any better as leadoff hitter Derek Miller doubled of the left-field wall. Travis Sibley moved him over with a sacrifice bunt before Miller scored on Matt Shortall's soft single to right.
The Panthers scored three runs in the third on a two-out double by Nic Wilson, plus two UTA errors. UT Arlington starter Brad Vachon ended the inning with a strikeout.
Georgia State's two-run lead was cut in half with one swing, as Greg McCall homered off the right-field foul pole to lead off the fourth.
An error plagued the Mavericks again in the bottom of the fourth to keep the inning alive. The Panthers scored four runs with two outs on a two-run single and Chase Raffield's two-run homer to right.
The first four Mavericks reached to start the sixth, scoring a run and chasing GSU starter Kenny Anderson. The change to reliever Aidan McLaughlin didn't slow UT Arlington, which had four consecutive at-bats with the bases loaded and none out.
Pinch hitter Darien McLemore ended that stretch with a two-run double to right, tying the game at 7-7. Miller's blooper to right, which ended up being a fielder's choice, scored Eric Tate to give UTA an 8-7 lead.
The Mavericks added another run in the seventh after Bottger opened the inning with a single and stole second. Just Copeland's hit put UTA up 9-7.
Vachon's four-inning effort yielded seven runs on nine hits and no decision. Due to errors extending both the third and fourth innings, four runs were unearned.
UTA made it interesting in the ninth. Bottger homered with two outs in the ninth to pull the Mavericks within a run before a strikeout ended the game.