May 9, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington moved a game ahead of WKU in the Sun Belt Conference standings with Friday night's 5-3 comeback win at Clay Gould Ballpark.
Greg McCall drove a double off the wall in center to bring home the go-ahead runs in the eighth, as the Mavericks improved to 25-25 overall and 14-11 in the league. UTA is at .500 for the first time this season.
"That's something we haven't been getting at home, getting that first win," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "It's a good win. It was a well-played game. It had a little bit of everything in it."
The Mavericks rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win for the ninth time in the last 11 games. UTA began the season 1-5 in the Sun Belt and now sits all alone in fourth place.
The game-winning rally began without the benefit of a hit. Ryan Bottger, who drove in UTA's first two runs, walked to lead off the inning and Matt Shortall was hit by a pitch. McCall followed by delivering an offering from WKU starter Justin Hageman over the center fielder. McCall scored an insurance run on Darien McLemore's sac fly to center.
"I was sitting fastball trying to hit something deep to score both runs," McCall said.
"I'll give our pitchers credit," Thomas said. "Millie didn't have his best stuff. Our bullpen was really good. We just hung in there, and Greg got the big hit when we needed it.
"That's the big difference between winning and losing. We weren't getting that big hit early in the year. We're starting to get it now."
The Mavericks took a 1-0 lead in the third on Bottger's solo shot to right. It was the fifth home run of the season for the junior left fielder and first since April 11.
The Hilltoppers (27-23, 13-12) took their first lead with two runs in the top of the fourth on a single and sacrifice fly. WKU knocked out Milliman in the fifth with another sac fly for a 3-1 lead.
UTA got a run back in the bottom of the fifth. Bottger's two-out single scored Eric Tate, who led off the inning with a hit and advanced to second on a sac bunt.
The series continues Saturday with a 2 p.m. first pitch and ends Sunday.