MAVERICKS BASEBALL TEAM WINS SLUGFEST AGAINST MCNEESE STATE, 13-12
April 13, 2008
LAKE CHARLES, La. - - A glance at the UT Arlington record book shows that beating McNeese State two out of three in Lake Charles, La., has been difficult. UTA accomplished that on Saturday, winning the series down South for the first time since 1991.
In Game 3 on Sunday, the Mavericks did one better.
UTA slugged its way to a 13-12 victory at Cowboy Diamond - the first time in UT Arlington baseball history that it left town with a three-game series sweep on the road against the Cowboys. It wasn't easy, as the Mavericks nearly blew an 11-4 lead before stopping a rally in the ninth after McNeese State cut it to one run.
UTA has now won six of its past seven games in league play, and the victory pushes the Mavericks record to better than .500 in SLC action for the first time this year.
David McLeod and Andrew Kainer led the way for the Mavericks. Kainer had two doubles, a homer and five runs batted in. Kainer's homer in the third inning turned a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead and sparked a five-run inning. McLeod smacked two doubles and a two triples.
The Mavericks (15-20, 8-7) finished the game with 17 hits, nine for extra bases.
McNeese State (10-25, 5-10) lost for the fifth time in its past six league games.
Mavericks right-handed starter Andy Sauter (4-1) battled through one tough inning - a four-run McNeese second - before settling down nicely for the victory.
Already leading 1-0 going into the second, Kainer got another scoring opportunity started with a one-out double down the line in left. After a Ryan Davis walk, Chad Comer drilled a grounder to the left of McNeese State shortstop Shon Landry. He dove to make the play, but could only knock it down as the ball rolled a few feet away from him toward center.
That allowed Kainer to score, and the Mavericks had a 2-0 lead.
The Cowboys came right back in the bottomof the second. A Tay Freeman homer to right-center got it started off Sauter, and two walks and an error kept it going. Singles by Mace Hebert and Josh Cholley and a sacrifice fly was enough to put the Cowboys a 4-2 lead.
UTA wasted no time getting all off those runs back, plus a little more.
Andrew Kainer followed with a towering shot to right-center that cleared the high wall and put the Mavericks back up, 6-4. Comer kept it going with a two-out double off the wall in right to make it a 7-4 lead and five-run inning. It was also enough to end the day for McNeese right-hander Ryan Frantz (1-6), who took the loss.
With a second chance to pitch with a lead, Sauter allowed just one run from the third to fifth - that was on a solo homer to right. Rett Varner relieved him to start the sixth.
Cowboys reliever Travis Bailey didn't have the same luck. He lasted two innings and gave up four hits and two runs before giving way to Todd Fontenot. Fontenot entered with runners on first and third in the fifth inning with two out and facing Mavericks right-fielder Matt Otteman, who bounced a single to right to drive in a run and make it 10-4. That was Otteman's third hit off the game and seventh in the series.
Kainer followed with a ground-rule double to left, and it appeared that the rout was on, 11-4, in the top of the fifth. That was Kainer's second double in the game to go with a homer and five runs batted in.
McNeese scored a run in the fifth, then showed signs of life against Varner. The freshman right-hander allowed a three-run homer to Freeman - his third homer of the day - to make it 11-8 in the seventh to make things interesting. Two more Cowboys got on base with one out when UTA elected to bring in reliever Ryan Martin.
Martin got a fly out to center and strikeout to end the threat.
UTA added two runs in the ninth to push the lead back to five, but the Cowboys answered with two in the bottom of the ninth before UTA turned to Marcus Limon. The freshman right-hander allowed a run and put one runner on before striking out Mace Hebert. A Sam Merrill infield single made it 13-12 and put the tying run on base.
Josh Cholley followed with a single up the middle to put the winning run on first. But Limon got Shon Landry to line out to Blake Holt in left-field for the victory.
UTA returns to action with a Tuesday non-conference against Oklahoma State. First pitch at Clay Gould Ballpark is set for 4 p.m.