May 1, 2004
LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana - The University of Texas at Arlington's offense spent the first eight innings dormant before showing some life and collecting three hits and one run in the ninth inning to drop a 2-1 decision to McNeese State Friday evening at the Cowboy Diamond.
Trailing 2-0 heading into the ninth inning, Aaron Batlle thought he started the inning with a single through the right side, but MSU second baseman Brian Bernhardt had other ideas as he made a diving stop and threw out a sliding Batlle by half a step. Hunter Pence followed with a single and advanced to third when Darrell Preston grounded out to first and the throw to double-up Pence went into left field. Ryan Nelson singled through the left side to score Pence before Dane Ryan pinch ran and moved to third on Paul Bruder's single to right field. With the tying run on third, Daniel Macha's bouncer up the middle was snared by pitcher Jacob Marceaux who calmly threw to first to end the game.
The Cowboys (21-23, 8-11 SLC) got on the board in the second inning as Bernhardt battled for a base on balls and Seth Lastrapes followed with a singled through the left side. After Josh Fontenot put down a sacrifice bunt, Chad Carnahan plated a run with a single through the right side. UTA was able to minimize the damage as Dustin Schroer's grounder up the middle was fielded by Carey Avants who tagged the runner going to second and threw to first to complete the double play and end the inning.
MSU added to its lead in the fifth inning as Carnahan collected his second hit to center field and Dustin Smith drove a two-out RBI double to left center.
The Cowboys had a chance to break the game open in the eight inning as Smith ripped a one-out triple into the right center field gap. Chris Fontenot followed by being hit by a pitch forcing UTA to go to closer Michael Snapp. Snapp would get the next hitter to hit it right back to him before intentionally walking Charlie Kingery to load the bases. The damage was not to be as Snapp froze Bernhardt with a fastball on the outside corner to end the threat.
In the fifth inning, Preston put his name atop another all-time list as he singled to right field to pass Craig Martin for the all-time record with 249 hits.
Michael Gardner (9-2) took the loss after allowing two runs on five hits in 7.1 innings of work. He struck out seven and walked one, while throwing 97 pitches. Marceaux (4-4) earned the complete game victory after allowing one run on five hits with six strikeouts.
The Mavericks and Cowboys will play the second game of the series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at Cowboy Diamond. The game was originally scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., but was moved up to avoid expected rain in the area.