April 13, 2013
UP NEXT: Sunday, 12 p.m.: UTA - Chase Weaver (2-0, 3.10 ERA) vs. SJSU - TBA
ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington had another strong showing at the plate in Saturday afternoon's 9-4 Western Athletic Conference win over San Jose State at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The Mavericks improved to 19-15 overall and remained in first in the WAC at 8-3 in conference. UT Arlington goes for the sweep in Sunday's series finale, which was moved up to a noon start.
UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas also won his 167th career game to move into sole possession of second place in school history.
Brent Bollinger, making his first start of the season, went 3-5 and scored twice as UTA racked up 14 hits. Travis Sibley also had three hits and two RBI. John Michael Twichell also knocked in two runs. Mavericks starter Zach Thompson improved to 4-2 after giving up three runs in 5.1 innings.
The Mavericks scored twice in the first of Spartans starter D.J. Slaton, taking advantage of a misplayed ball in right field. Matt Shortall's single to right bounced all the way to the way to score Bollinger and Ryan Walker.
SJSU right fielder Michael Gerlach did get some measure of revenge by throwing out Shortall at the plate after Justin Copeland's fly out.
The Spartans (11-24, 5-6) scored a run in the third on Gerlach's double to left-center, but the Mavericks got out of the inning thanks to catcher Greg McCall's quick reflexes. With two outs and Gerlach at third, a Thompson pitch in the dirt squirted away from McCall. Gerlach broke for home, McCall gathered the ball and dove back to the plate to tag Gerlach.
McCall's next turn at the plate extended UT Arlington's lead to 3-1. He launched a towering drive over the bushes beyond the wall in right so decisive that Gerlach didn't bother moving from his outfield spot.
The Spartans chased Thompson with two runs in the sixth to close the gap to 4-3. UTA responded with two in the bottom of the inning on back on back-to-back RBI doubles from Sibley and Twichell.
Mavericks reliever Keegan Hucul went 3.1 innings, nearly closing out the game after replacing Thompson.
"I thought he did a great job," Thomas said of Hucul. "Our bullpen was good today."
The Mavericks added another three runs in the seventh on four hits. Darien McClemore and Sibley had run-scoring singles.
BSB: Mavs Open Postseason Play with Arkansas State
BSB: Big Innings Lifts Bobcats Past Mavs
BSB: Ninth, 10th Sinks Mavs in Series Clincher
BSB: Texas State Edges Mavs in Opener
BSB: Mavs Host Texas State to Conclude Regular Season
Texas Trust Scholar-Athlete Of The Week