April 13, 2012
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Lance Day battled into the eighth inning and the offense racked up 16 hits to lead UT Arlington to Friday night's 10-5 Southland Conference victory over UTSA at Roadrunner Field.
The streaking Mavericks improved to 22-13 on the season and 9-7 in conference. UTA has won nine of its last 11 games overall and six of seven in league play.
The Roadrunners dropped to 14-20 and 5-11.
"We put up runs. It's an offensive park," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "The first thing I'm going to do is give Lance and (Adam Boydston) credit. It's a tough place to pitch. The wind blows out, the ball carries and it's a tough place to pitch. I'm going to give our pitchers a lot of credit to holding them to five and holding them scoreless over the last four innings."
Day started for the first time this season in a conference series opener. The senior ace worked around one bad inning to run his record to 7-1. He scattered 13 hits and struck out five in 7 2/3 innings.
The Mavericks scored twice in the second to take an early lead. Preston Morrow singled and advanced twice on wild pitches, eventually scoring on Philip Incaviglia's base hit. Brent Bollinger scored not long after on a bases-loaded walk.
UTA might have blown the game open then with two outs, but slugger Preston Beck left the bases loaded.
Beck delivered his next time up in the fifth, doubling off the wall in right to score Derek Miller. Matt Shortall and Jordan Vaughn reached to load the bases. Gregg McCall plated Beck on a sacrifice fly and Shortall came home on Brent Bollinger's single through the left side for a 5-1 advantage.
Day couldn't hold the lead. UTSA struck back with four runs in the bottom of the inning on four hits to tie the score.
"Four runs in one inning really can't happen," Day said. "You have to find a way to shut it down before that, but they caught a couple of breaks and hit the ball where we weren't. I knew if I could keep battling, we would score some runs."
Bollinger helped the Mavericks regain the lead in the seventh with a one-out double down the left-field line. Ryan Walker drove Bollinger home two batters later with a fly out to right. Incaviglia aggressiveness on the basepaths led to another run. He stole second and advanced to third on a bad throw, and scored on Miller's single for a 7-5 edge.
UTA added an insurance run in the eighth on Bollinger's third hit of the game and two more in the ninth. Boydston got the final four outs to earn his third save.
Miller, Shortall, Bollinger, Vaughn, Incaviglia and Morrow each had at least two hits for the Mavericks. Miller got on base four times and added two RBI in his first start in place of injured second baseman Michael Guerra.
"Another thing that was big is we got five hits out of our eight and nine hole in Bollinger and Inky," Thomas said. "And Derek Miller had an unbelievable game. He hasn't been in there. He had a great game for not seeing a lot of pitching."
The series resumes Saturday afternoon with a 2 p.m. first pitch and wraps up Sunday at 1 p.m.