Choice Hits 16th Homer, Mavs Fall to SFA 11-6
May 9, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas - Michael Choice hit his 16th home run of the season going 2-for-3 with three RBI in UT Arlington's 11-6 loss in the series finale to Stephen F. Austin Sunday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark.
With the Mavericks (25-24, 17-10) trailing 4-3 in the eighth inning, the Lumberjacks (32-13, 18-8) broke the game open with seven runs on seven hits while eight consecutive SFA batters reached base safely.
UT Arlington starter Logan Bawcom (5-4) took the loss while his streak of seven consecutive starts pitching at least 7.0 innings was snapped as he allowed four runs on 10 base hits with seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings.
Stephen F. Austin right-hander Justin Braddock (5-3) was the winning pitcher allowing three runs in 6.1 innings while scattering seven hits with four strikeouts and a walk. SFA reliever Cory Ochs picked up his second save of the season pitching the final 2.2 innings with three strikeouts and allowing three runs on two hits. Ochs entered in the seventh inning with the `Jacks holding a 4-3 lead.
The Mavericks took a 3-1 lead with two runs in the third inning. Freshman second baseman Cody Dyvig (2-for-4) led off the inning with a double down the left-field line and came around to score two batters later on first baseman Jordan Vaughn's RBI double to left center.
Choice followed with a single through the left side that advanced Vaughn to third base and Vaughn then scored on the play following an error by SFA left fielder Patrick Gratzke.
The Lumberjacks cut the Mavs' lead to one with an RBI single from Michael Haynes in the fourth inning and then tied the game in the sixth inning on designated hitter Darren Crabtree's eighth home run of the season to right field.
Bawcom, whose pitch count reached 100 in the fifth inning, allowed the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on an RBI single up the middle by shortstop Tanner Hines.
The game was decided from the fourth to eighth inning where the Mavs were blanked and tallied only two base hits while the Lumberjacks scored 10 unanswered runs during that stretch.
SFA scored seven runs in the seventh inning with 12 batters coming to the plate. The Mavericks used three pitchers in the inning and had a total of four relievers that saw action in the final 2.1 innings.
Choice reached base safely in four of his five plate appearances and he provided the Mavs with their final runs of the game on a three-run blast over the center-field wall in the ninth inning.
Choice has now reached base safely in 61 consecutive games. He currently leads the Southland Conference with a .405 batting average and with 16 home runs. He is second in the league with 55 RBI.
Choice, the school's all-time career home run leader, hit his 34th career home run and now is only eight RBI away from tying the school's all-time career RBI record (166 - Darrell Preston, 2001-04). Choice is currently the school's career batting leader (.398) and ranks second in career total bases (381), third in slugging (.651), fifth in base hits (233), sixth in runs (160) and seventh in career walks (116).
In addition, Choice leads the nation this season with 66 walks. He needs only three walks to break the Southland Conference all-time single-season record of 68 set by Lamar's Kerry Christensen in 1982.
Freshman Preston Beck extended his career-high hit streak to 10 games with a double down the right-field line in the second inning. Steffan Guest went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles to move his hit streak to seven games.
Freshman Taylor Mabra hit a lead-off pinch-hit double down the left-field line in the ninth inning and then scored on Choice's home run. It marked Mabra's first career pinch-hit base hit.
The Mavericks will close their home schedule at Clay Gould Ballpark next weekend hosting Lamar for a three-game Southland Conference series, May 14-16. Friday's first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. and game two will follow at 2 p.m. on Saturday with the series finale scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday.