April 15, 2008
ARLINGTON, Texas - - UT Arlington's baseball team is starting to make this winning thing a regular occurence.
Tuesday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark, it didn't matter that the Mavericks were playing the 14th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. UTA entered the game having won eight of its previous 10 games, and it continued the timely hitting and solid pitching in a convincing 7-3 victory.
UTA (16-20) took an early lead, and pitchers Matt Otteman and Drew Clementz made sure the Cowboys never got back in it. Otteman (3-2), a junior right-hander, tossed six complete innings and allowed just five hits and one run. He struck out six and didn't walk a batter.
Clementz pitched three innings of one-hit ball and struck out four while Maverick hitters outhit the Cowboys, 14-7. Clementz (2) earned the save.
"That was pretty good baseball," UTA coach Darin Thomas said. "It's three weeks in a row now that we've played pretty well in every area. It sometimes take a little success for a team to start believing in themselves, and I think that's what it happening to us right now."
UTA takes a four-game win streak into Wednesday's 6:05 p.m. game at Disch-Falk field in Austin against the Texas Longhorns.
Against the Cowboys, UTA's offense battered nearly all of the six pitchers Oklahoma State used. Leadoff hitter Brock Wilson led the way with a 3-for-5 day. He had two runs batted in. Danny Slinkman, Michael Choice and Mitch Putman had two hits each.
UTA's defense helped out as well, playing an errorless game.
"I felt great out there; every pitch was working," Otteman said. "It also helps that the guys put up those runs early. It helps you relax a little. And then Drew came in a pitched great the rest of the way."
UTA took control of the game with two runs each in the second and third innings.
Already leading 1-0 off Oklahoma State senior right-handed starter Matt Gardner (4-2), Mavericks right-fielder Andrew Kainer continued his hot hitting of late by smashing a single to left to get things started. One batter later, Ryan Davis was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. After a Justin McPherson single to short loaded the bases, Wilson drove home a run with a single to left to put UTA up 2-1. The Mavericks made it 3-1 on an fielding error by Oklahoma State second baseman Thomas Belza.
The Mavericks continued to knock Gardner around in the third.
Putman singled to start the inning. Kainer then tried to bunt him over, but Gardner's throw to second base went into right-centerfield, and UTA had runners on first and third with nobody out. Steffan Guest followed with a run-scoring single to make it 4-1, and a Wilson single later made it 5-1 and signaled the end of the day for Gardner.
UTA scored one in the fourth off OSU reliever Matt Peck ot take a 6-1 lead.
Otteman continued to coast through the Cowboys lineup and handed the five-run lead to the Mavericks bullpen.
The Cowboys got two runs back off UTA reliever Jeff Edlefsen when Neil Medchill smacked a two-run homer to make it 6-3.
From there, the Mavericks turned to Clementz. He shut down the Cowboys the rest of the inning, then was helped by an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Michael Choice and Danny Slinkman hit back-to-back doubles to make it 7-3. Clements then shut down the Cowboys in the ninth - on three strikeouts - to earn the save.