May 2, 2008
ARLINGTON, Texas - - UT Arlington junior left-handed pitcher Ryan Robinson turned in one of his best performances this season, and after a scare in the ninth, the Mavericks would need every ounce of his efforts in a 7-6 victory Friday night against Nicholls State.
The win at Clay Gould Ballpark comes in the first game of a crucial three-game Southland Conference series as UTA fights for a spot in the postseason tournament.
"You can't ask for any more than that, to come out and get a Friday night victory," UTA coach Darin Thomas said. "Ryan Robinson really pitched well again; he's really been solid for us in conference play. Our relievers didn't do a bad job, but we let the gate open with some defensive mistakes. Overall, it's good and we're happy with the win."
The Mavericks led 3-2 when they were helped by some good fortune in the bottom of the seventh. With two runners on base - Michael Choice because of a walk and Danny Slinkman because he was hit by a pitch - Andrew Kainer hit a high fly ball to left-field that should have been the final out of the inning. But left-fielder Shane Barksdale lost the ball in the lights, it fell harmlessly to the grass and both runners came around to score to give UTA a 5-2 cushion.
The Mavericks scored two more in the bottom of the eighth.
But the Colonels rallied in the ninth, getting two runners aboard off Robinson, then knocking Adam Boydston from the game and scoring four times times to make it 7-6. They had the tying run on first with one out. Ryan Martin then got a pop fly to second base to end the game.
From the fourth inning until Nicholls got two runners on in the ninth, Robinson (5-4) continued to handle the Colonels (7-39, 2-20) lineup - allowing the occasional base runner but rarely letting it hurt him. Robinson allowed just two runs and six hits before Adam Boydston
The Mavericks (21-25, 12-10) got on the board first off Nicholls State starter Jake Parrish (1-4) when the right-handed senior starter lost a little control on the mound. Parrish walked Mitch Putman and Evan Raley with one out in the bottom of the second. Jay Pitschka followed with a double down the left-field line, and both runners easily scored as UTA took a 2-0 lead.
Nicholls State answered in the top of the third, getting a two-out single by Brett Cook. It could have been worse, however, as the Colonels got the first two men aboard - then into scoring position because of a balk - with nobody out.
UTA got one back in the bottom of the third to take a 3-1 lead and saw the exit of Parrish in favor of reliever Nathan Quebedeaux. Parrish faced 14 batters, walked five and hit two. The Colonels stayed in the game because UTA left five runners on base in the first three innings. Nicholls State scored one in the top of the sixth to close within one.