May 2, 2014
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Eric Tate scored in the top of the 10th inning to give UT Arlington a 6-5 win over UALR in Friday night's Sun Belt Conference series opener at Hogan Field.
The Mavericks squandered a five-run lead and a solid outing from Daniel Milliman, but still managed to improve to 23-24 overall and 12-10 in conference. The Mavericks have won four in a row and seven of their last eight. The last time UTA was within a game of .500 was 0-1 after the season opener.
Tate opened the 10th with a double off the wall in left and advanced to third on a balk. Ryan Bottger sent a chopper to first baseman Justin Steelmon, but his throw home sailed over the catcher and Tate scored easily.
Chad Nack pitched the final 3.2 innings for UTA. The junior didn't allow a run and evened his record at 1-1.
"Milliman was outstanding to start and so was Chad to finish it off," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "We made the plays we need to at the end, and it was a great Friday night league win."
The Mavericks didn't take advantage of a strong start from Milliman, who opened a series for the first time in his UTA career. Milliman had assumed of the role of Sunday starter in conference play, but the rotation was flipped with starters Brad Vachon and Zach Thompson pitching in nonconference games earlier this week.
Milliman appeared to set the tone against the Trojans, working six-plus innings and allowing two runs (one earned) before departing in the seventh. TJ Whidby came on in relief after the Trojans scored due to a UTA error and couldn't hold the lead. A two-run homer from Steelmon tied the game 5-5.
The series continues Saturday with a 4 p.m. first pitch. Senior right-hander Brad Vachon will be on the mound for UTA, while the Trojans counter with righty Sam Thoele.
Matt Shortall gave the Mavericks took a quick 1-0 lead with a towering home run to left with two outs in the first. Milliman worked his way around a leadoff double to keep UALR scoreless in the first.
Milliman and UALR starter Travis McDonald were piling up zeroes before Shortall struck again with two outs in the sixth. Derek Miller, on after a bunt single, came around to score on Shortall's double into the left-field corner. Bottger's single to center brought Shortall home for a 3-0 lead.
The Mavericks added two more runs in the seventh. Junior transfer Levi Scott crushed his first homer at UTA, a solo shot to center for a 4-0 edge. Miller's third hit of the ballgame score Darien McLemore, who had doubled to left with two outs.
UTA is 2-3 in extra innings this season. UALR is 20-25 and 6-16.