MAVERICKS WIN SERIES OPENER, THOMAS WINS 50TH CAREER GAME
May 1, 2009
ARLINGTON, Texas - Andrew Kainer's third RBI of the game - a fielder's choice ground ball - in the seventh inning gave UT Arlington the game-winning run as the Mavericks topped Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4-3 in the series opener on Friday evening at Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington. The Mavericks' victory marked career win No. 50 for second-year head coach Darin Thomas as UT Arlington improves to 24-21 overall and to 15-10 in the Southland Conference. The Islanders fall to 17-31 overall and to 8-17 in league play.
Just following the conclusion of the game Friday night, it was announced that UT Arlington and A&M Corpus Christi will finish their series on Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at noon due to inclement weather forecasted for Sunday.
The victory keeps the Mavericks in a three-way tie for third place in the SLC, as Lamar and UTSA both won on Friday night.
"This win is big because we struggled last week and we needed to get back on a winning track," Thomas said. "There are a lot of factors to why we needed to win - and it wasn't pretty - but we found a way to win and hopefully that gives us some momentum going into tomorrow."
Kainer, a senior designated from Conroe, Texas, extended his school-record hit streak to 32 games with a double down the right-field line in the fourth inning. He later came around to score on a wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1.
Immediately after the Islanders grabbed a two run lead in the fifth inning on a two-run homer by nine-hole batter Ernie Olivarez, UT Arlington answered with a pair of runs to once again tie the game, 3-3.
In the fifth, the first two batters to the plate for UT Arlington recorded outs and then Islanders' starting pitcher Brandon Orr issued three consecutive walks to Collin Garner, Michael Choice and Matt Otteman to bring up Kainer with two outs. Kainer delivered with a two-out single to right field which plated Garner and Choice to tie the game.
Kainer's game-winning RBI fielder's choice groundball came in the seventh inning as lead-off batter Jay Pitschka scored after leading off the inning with his second hit-by-pitch of the game.
UT Arlington starting pitcher Ryan Robinson won his team-leading fifth game of the season while pitching seven innings. The senior lefty scattered seven hits, didn't allow a walk and struck out six batters. Perhaps Robinson's finest inning on Friday was striking out three batters during his final frame in the seventh. He exited after throwing 87 total pitches in his eighth start of the season.
Sophomore lefty Adam Boydston relieved Robinson while picking up his seventh save of the season. Boydston pitched the eighth and ninth innings where he issued two walks and struck out one batter.
Kainer went 2-for-4 with three RBI, first baseman Ryan Davis went 2-for-4 and Choice went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks to lead UT Arlington.
The Mavericks will send right-handed pitchers Nathan Long (4-3) and Jason Mitchell (3-5) to the mound tomorrow while the Islanders will start left-handed pitcher Roy Ferdin (2-5) and righty Trey Hernandez (2-2). Game two of the series will begin at noon on Saturday with the series finale to follow.
In addition, a win for the Mavericks on Saturday will give the UTA baseball program its 700th all-time victory on its home field. UT Arlington is currently 699-394 all-time on its home field. This season the Mavericks are 16-6 at Clay Gould Ballpark.