April 24, 2013
NEXT: UTA at New Mexico State, Friday, 7 p.m. CT
ARLINGTON, Texas - Travis Sibley delivered a two-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift UT Arlington to a 5-4 nonconference victory Wednesday afternoon over UALR at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The Mavericks (22-19) avenged a 12-2 loss to the Trojans (18-22) last month in Little Rock. UT Arlington and UALR become conference mates next season in the Sun Belt.
The Mavericks return to Western Athletic Conference play Friday with the start of a three-game series at New Mexico State. UT Arlington is in second place in the WAC at 10-5.
Sibley's heroics bailed out the Mavericks, who squandered a 4-0 lead in the eighth. Sibley, finishing off a 3-4 day at the plate, lined a shot to left to score Justin Copeland.
"We found a way to win," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "We strung together some hits and obviously left some guys out there. It was a good walk-off hit. Sib came through in the clutch. He had a good game."
Keegan Hucul was in line to pick up the win before the bullpen faltered. The junior transfer went a season-high 6.1 innings and didn't allow a run. He allowed just one hit and walk.
"Hucul threw really well," Thomas said. "We had to save him for the weekend. We could have left him out there, but it's Wednesday instead of Tuesday. The weekend is more important."
Sibley and Derek Miller each had three hits for the Mavericks, who pounded out 13 as a team. Miller added two RBI. Brandon Lawrence hit his second home run of the season, a solo bomb in the sixth.
The Mavericks took the lead in the third with a two-out rally off UALR starter Ethan Schlechte. Walker reached on a bunt single and scored on Miller's double in the left field corner. Thomas, coaching third, waved home Walker, who avoided the tag with by brushing his hand across the plate.
The lead ballooned to 4-0 in thanks to back-to-back RBI singles from Walker and Miller in the fifth, and Lawrence's blast to left in the sixth.
The Mavericks loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with one out, but were unable to bring the go-ahead run across with Walker and Miller at bat.