April 25, 2014
Saturday Probable Pitching Matchup
UTA - Zach Thompson (2-3, 4.75) vs. Troy - Shane McCain (3-3, 2.61)
TROY, Alabama – UT Arlington rode an early offensive surge to down Troy 11-6 in Friday night's Sun Belt Conference series opener at Riddle-Pace Field.
The Mavericks improved to 19-23 with their third straight win overall and 10-9 in conference. The Trojans dropped to 20-23 and 7-11. The series continues with Saturday's 6 p.m. first pitch, with the finale Sunday at noon.
"I'm really proud of the way we swung the bats tonight," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "It's important to get a big lead and our bullpen was really good."
UTA took a quick 1-0 lead in its first at-bat off Troy starter Tanner Hicks. Leadoff hitter Derek Miller doubled down the left-field line to open the first and came around to score on Ryan Bottger's two-out double into the right-field corner.
Miller set the table again in the third with another leadoff double in nearly the same spot as the first. After moving to third on Eric Tate's grounder to the right side, Miller scampered home on a wild pitch.
The Trojans loaded the bases in the third with one out, thanks in part to a Mavericks' error. UTA starter Brad Vachon worked his way out of the jam with short fly to Miller in center and a soft liner to second baseman Darien McLemore.
John Michael Twichell gave UTA a 3-0 lead in the fourth with a towering home run – his third of the season and second this week – over the 35-foot wall in right field. The Mavericks weren't done, loading the bases with none out on a walk, bunt single and hit batter.
Matt Shortall sent a long single halfway up the wall in right to score two, and Bottger's base hit made it 6-0. The Mavericks added another three runs in the fifth, with Tate's two-run homer to left highlighting the frame.
UT Arlington scored in four of the first five innings, including seven runs combined in the fourth and fifth to take a 9-1 lead. Vachon didn't take full advantage of the support, as he couldn't get out of the fifth before giving up six runs.
UTA reliever Justin Schnedler found himself in trouble in the sixth with the bases loaded and one out. An inning-ending double play preserved the Mavericks' 9-6 lead going into the seventh. Chad Nack ended the eighth with a strikeout after coming out of the bullpen with runners at second and third.
McLemore drilled a two-run homer ninth to push the UTA lead back to five runs. Miller finished 3-4 and scored four times. Tate, Bottger, Shortall and McLemore each had two RBI. Eight of the nine UTA starters had at least one hit.
Schnedler picked up the win to go to 2-4, and Nack earned his first save.