May 4, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas - Michael Choice broke the UT Arlington all-time single-season walks record with his 62nd walk of the season while the Mavericks won their fourth game in a row - and its ninth in 11 games - with a 10-4 victory over Dallas Baptist Tuesday evening at Clay Gould Ballpark.
UT Arlington (24-22) snapped a seven-game skid against the Patriots (24-20) while Choice went 2-for-2 with two RBI and three walks, with his third walk breaking the school's all-time record that was held the past 32 seasons by former Maverick Major League shortstop Dave Owen (61 - 1978).
Mark Picca (2-5) pitched 6.0 innings allowing three runs on eight hits with two strikeouts while not allowing a walk in the Mavs final midweek home game.
UT Arlington posted 18 base hits as every starter had at least one base hit for the second consecutive game. Chad Comer led the way with his second career four-hit game going 4-for-5 with three runs scored and one RBI.
It marked the second time this season that UTA had at least one base hit in every inning of the game (22 hits, at McNeese State, 4/17).
Joining Choice and Comer with multiple hits were designated hitter Steffan Guest (3-for-4, 3 runs), freshman right fielder Preston Beck (2-for-5), shortstop Jesse Payne (2-for-5, 2 RBI) and third baseman Brian Nephew (2-for-5, 2 RBI).
The Mavericks tallied their fourth straight game with at least 11 hits against seven Dallas Baptist pitchers while Aaron Gilbreath (1-3), who pitched one-plus inning, suffered the loss allowing four runs on four base hits with two walks in the second inning.
The hit parade started in the first inning with Choice and Beck posting back-to-back singles, but it wasn't until the second inning when the Mavericks first reached the scoreboard with an RBI fielder's choice off the bat of left fielder Nick Orr.
Comer and Payne drove in runs with base hits in the third inning and a third run crossed the plate on a double play giving the Mavericks an early 4-0 lead after two innings.
Picca cruised through the first three frames pitching perfect baseball with nine batters up and nine batters down.
After Dallas Baptist scored its first run of the game in the fifth, UT Arlington answered immediately with three runs on four base hits in the bottom of the inning to take a 7-1 lead.
Nephew drove in the Mavs' first run in the fifth with a single to right field and Orr followed with a bases-loaded walk. Choice also scored a run on his record-setting walk which came with the bases loaded and a full count.
Choice walked in the third, was intentionally walked in the fourth to tie the UTA record and after breaking the school's all-time record with his third walk of the game in the fifth, he singled in his final at-bat in the seventh inning.
Choice has now reached base safely in 58 consecutive games dating back to last season. In four games against Dallas Baptist this season, Choice has collected seven walks - three coming intentionally. Choice has now been walked intentionally 16 times this season and 21 times in his three-year career.
Choice's single in the seventh scored Orr, who singled up the middle to open the inning. The Mavericks scored their final two runs of the game in the eighth inning on an RBI single through the left side by Comer and with an RBI double from Payne.
Payne is now 11-for-20 in his last four games. He has raises his batting average 46 points over the last seven games.
Maverick reliever Garrett Laird pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Picca, with two strikeouts while UTA ace Jason Mitchell pitched the ninth inning (1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 SO) in his third relief outing of the season.
Third-place UT Arlington hosts second-place Stephen F. Austin for a Southland Conference three-game showdown starting Friday, May 7, at 6:30 p.m. at Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington.