Mavs Fall 9-4 in Series Opener at McNeese State
April 16, 2010
LAKE CHARLES, La. - McNeese State scored six unanswered runs from the fourth to seventh inning to knock off UT Arlington 9-4 in the Southland Conference series opener Friday night at Cowboy Diamond.
The Mavericks (15-20, 8-8 SLC) committed four errors and left 10 runners on base while the Cowboys (20-13, 10-6 SLC) used a dominating pitching performance to win for the 12th time in their last 14 games.
McNeese State's Dustin Lloyd (3-4) struck out a team season-high 10 batters in 7.2 innings while allowing four runs and scattering seven hits to earn the victory. The Cowboys also benefitted from five extra base hits, including two triples and a two-run homer.
UT Arlington starter Jason Mitchell (4-3) allowed seven runs (five earned) on 12 base hits in 5.0 innings pitched. Mitchell struck out five batters and allowed one walk in his first loss since March 19 (at UTSA - 8-2).
The Cowboys scored immediately with their first four batters reaching base - three via base hit - in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead.
UT Arlington evened the score at two apiece with a two-run double by Brian Nephew in the top of the second inning. Nephew drove in Steffan Guest, who reached on a fielding error by second baseman Matt Fontenot, and Jordan Vaughn, who singled up the middle to reach base.
McNeese State scored an unearned run in the second inning before UTA junior All-American Michael Choice was hit by pitch in the top of the third and then stole second base to reach scoring position.
A batter later, freshman right fielder Preston Beck singled through the left side to move Choice to third base before catcher Chad Comer hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Choice and tie the score at 3-3.
That would be as close as the Mavericks would come the rest of the game as the Cowboys plated three runs in the fourth on four base hits, scored a run in the sixth on two hits and added a pair of runs on a two-run home run in the seventh.
Mitchell was lifted after reaching 120 pitches by the bottom of the sixth inning without recording an out in the frame. Mitchell exited after allowing a triple and single through the left side to start the sixth inning.
Maverick reliever Stephen Krolick finished the game on the mound as he tossed 3.0 innings allowing two runs on four hits with two strikeouts.
Nephew scored the only other run for UT Arlington in the eighth inning with his second home run of the season, a solo shot to left field with nobody on base.
UT Arlington went three-up, three-down only twice in the game as they left at least one runner on base in the seven other innings.
Nephew (2-for-4, 3 RBI) and Beck (2-for-5) were the only UTA players with multi-hits.
Choice continued his reaching base safely streak to 47 games after reaching base via hit by pitch in the third and walking in the fifth. Choice has now walked 45 times this season, which currently ranks second in the nation (Rice's Anthony Rendon - 46 walks). Choice finished the game going 0-for-3 with a run scored, which snaps his 11-game hit streak that started March 28.
UT Arlington and McNeese State will face off in game two of the three-game series on Saturday, April 17, with a 3 p.m. first pitch scheduled for Cowboy Diamond.