May 10, 2003
HUNTSVILLE, Texas...The University of Texas at Arlington loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth inning, but failed to score as Sam Houston State closer Dustin Craig ended the game with the bases still loaded and the Bearkats holding on for an 8-7 victory Saturday afternoon at Holleman Field.
Chris Taylor started the inning with a single off the left field wall and Ryan Roberts singled back through the middle. Craig came into the game and both runners advanced on a passed ball by catcher Dom Garcia. Hunter Pence could get the runners in when he went down swinging and Darrell Preston was intentionally walked to load the bases. Daniel Lenihan came into to pinch hit, but went down on strikes. Designated hitter Kasey Baker came up and worked the count to 3-1 before swinging and missing at ball four. On the next pitch, Baker grounded back to Craig ending the game.
SHSU (19-30, 8-15 SLC) took the lead for good in the fifth inning as center fielder Brandon Foster hit a two-run single back through the box to make the score 8-7, capping off a four run inning. The inning started with Lou Ferrell drawing a leadoff walk and Andrew Kasparek hit his second home run of the game chasing UTA starter Ricky Stover from game. Michael Garza came in for Stover and the first batter hit a deep fly to right field, but was robbed as right fielder Scott Williams snatched the ball before crashing hard into the fence. Garza walked three of the next four batters and loaded the bases with two outs before Wes Detwiler gave up the single to Foster.
The Mavericks (31-20, 17-6 SLC) got on the board in the first inning as Preston delivered a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Chris Taylor who reached on an error earlier in the inning.
Kasparek tied the game up with his first homer of the game in the second before UTA put two runs on the board in the third to regain the lead. Aaron Batlle started the inning with a single through the right side. Taylor followed with a single to center field and Roberts singled to left field to load the bases. Pence plated Batlle with a fielder's choice deep into the hole at short forcing Taylor at third. After a wild pitch advanced the runners, Preston walked and Williams delivered a sac fly to right field.
The Bearkats manufactured a run in the third inning and took a one-run lead in the fourth as Jonathan Stone doubled in Dom Garcia, who had reached on an error. A single by Foster and an error on the play allowed the second run to score with two outs.
UTA thought they took the momentum back in the top of the fifth inning as they scored four runs to take a three run lead before the 'Kats four run fifth gave SHSU the lead for good. Taylor again started things off with a single through the left side and advanced to third on a Roberts double off the top of the right field fence. Pence singled into the hole at short allowing Taylor to score and Roberts to advance to third. After Pence advanced on a passed ball, Preston doubled into left center scoring both runners. After advancing to third on a Williams groundout, Baker singled back up the middle to score Preston.
Nathan Boyd (3-5) picked up the victory by allowing only two hits over the final 3.2 innings. Garza (1-3) took the loss by giving up two runs on no hits and three walks in two-thirds of an inning. Craig earned his first save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth with two punchouts. Four UTA pitches combined to walk nine SHSU hitters, while only striking out four.
Taylor and Roberts each collected three hits, while Preston knocked in three. Dustin Bozarth collected two hits and Pence collected two hits and two runs batted in.
The Mavericks and Bearkats play the rubber match of the series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at Holleman Field.