BSB: Mavs hold on to beat San Jose State in series opener
April 12, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas – The UT Arlington Mavericks batted around in the first inning and held on in Friday night's 8-7 Western Athletic Conference victory over San Jose State at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The Mavericks improved to 18-15 overall and 7-3 in the WAC, which leads the league. The Spartans dropped to 11-23 and 5-5 after the first ever meeting with UT Arlington. With the victory, UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas tied former coach Jeff Curtis for the second-most career wins in program history with 166.
The three-game series resumes Saturday with a 2 p.m. first pitch. Sunday's finale begins at 1 p.m.
San Jose State did grab the early lead, scoring a run in the first off UTA starter Brad Vachon. Spartans center fielder Andre Mercurio tripled and scored on a ground out.
The Mavericks responded with six runs in the bottom of the first, tying for the second-most runs in an inning for UTA this season. (The Mavericks also scored six in the seventh against Northeastern on Feb. 22. UTA racked up 10 in the sixth at UTSA on March 24.)
Starting with Jake Pinchback's single to lead off the first began a run of five straight Mavericks reaching base. Matt Shortall and Greg McCall had a two-run hits in the outburst. UTA tallied five hits in the inning off SJSU starter David Wayne Russo, who fell to 3-5.
"We didn't swing it good last night [against Arlington Baptist], and came back tonight and get six in the first inning," Thomas said. "That ended up being the difference in the game."
UT Arlington added two more runs in the second, which it would need. Vachon worked seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out four. The junior right hander improved to 4-2.
"Give them credit," Thomas said. "They're scrappy. They're going to score. They're a good club. We're just happy to get the win."
Winn walked the only batter he faced, and Thomas turned to Chad Nack. The sophomore righty induced a bunt pop up for the first out, struck out the next batter and got a grounder right back to him to earn his third save.
"Chad came up huge," Thomas said.
Shortall finished 3-5 and knocked in two runs, increasing his team-leading RBI total to 36. McCall added two RBI. Ryan Walker had three hits and Brandon Lawrence had two. Eight Mavericks had at least one hit.