May 5, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas – Travis Sibley had three RBI, including the go-ahead run in the sixth, to lead UT Arlington past Sam Houston State, 7-4, Saturday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The true freshman, who earned his first career start in conference play on Friday, made the most of his opportunity in Game 2 of the series against the Southland Conference-leading Bearkats. He finished the game 3-for-4 with a two-run single in the second and an RBI triple to break a 4-4 tie in the sixth.
“Sibley earned this chance through hard work,” UT Arlington pitching coach Jay Sirianni said. “He shows up every day and he has grinded it out and earned this opportunity. It’s good to see all the hard work paying off for him.”
Sibley’s big day helped the Mavericks (28-20, 15-11) snap a five-game losing streak. It also gives UTA a chance to take the series from the top team in the SLC when the two teams meet in the rubber game of the series on Sunday.
Greg McCall added two RBI – one on a second-inning groundout and another on a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Behind McCall and Sibley, UT Arlington jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second but the Bearkats (32-14, 20-6) responded with a four-spot in the third.
Sibley broke the tie in the sixth when his two-out triple shot over first base and into the right-field corner, allowing Jake Pinchback to score his third run of the game. Ryan Walker followed with an RBI single and Walker scored later in the inning on a throwing error.
Zack Thompson and Adam Boydston combined to throw 5.0 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Thompson (3-3) earned the win after entering the game in the fourth. Boydston, who ranks second in program history in career saves, shut the door for his fourth save of the season and the 20th of his career.
“Zack didn’t have his best stuff but he battled and gave us a chance,” Sirianni said. “The best thing he did was come in and settle the game down. He gave us a chance to get it to Adam and what can you say about him? The guy’s done it for five years now. He has a ton of confidence and he got us to the finish line today.”
Earlier in the day, UT Arlington and Sam Houston State resumed and completed the first game of the series. Sam Houston State held on for a 2-0 win, but had to escape a threat in the ninth.
With runners on the corners and two outs, Michael Guerra smashed a shot up the middle. Closer Michael Burchett instinctively deflected to Ryan Farney, who flipped the ball to shortstop Corey Toups to record the final out.
The two teams will decide the series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Clay Gould Ballpark.