MAVERICKS RALLY FOR 6-4 VICTORY AGAINST TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI
May 16, 2008
ARLINGTON, Texas - - UT Arlington's baseball team is hot again, erasing a three-run deficit and capturing its third consecutive victory, 6-4, on Friday night in a Southland Conference game at Clay Gould Ballpark against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
The Mavericks go for the series sweep on Saturday in the final regular-season game of 2008. It will also be the final home game for seniors David McLeod, Eamonn Donovan, Brock Wilson, Jeff Nollen and Danny Slinkman. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
To assure itself of a series victory Friday against the Islanders, UTA looked to reliever Drew Clementz, who entered in the sixth. Clementz delivered, pitching four innings of scoreless relief to earn the win. The Mavericks offense got 12 hits off three Texas A&M-Corpus Christi pitchers.
"I just tried to go in and do my job and get guys out," Clementz said. "I think my fastball had a little more pop. It felt good. It's exciting to get these two wins and hopefully carry this into the conference tournament."
The Mavericks (25-29, 15-14) clinched a playoff spot on Thursday. Now, they are playing for positioning. UTA is 1/2 game ahead of Southeastern Louisiana, which plays a double-header on Saturday. UTA is percentage points ahead of the Islanders.
In Friday's game, UTA took a 1-0 lead in the third, but the Islanders (22-30, 14-14-1) gained control of the game an inning later when Trey Hernandez hit a three-run homer to left. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi added a run in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead. The Mavericks answered quickly in the bottom of the fifth off Islanders starter Roy Ferdin (2-6) when Jay Pitschka hit a one-out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. David McLeod followed with a single up the middle.
Pitschka probably would have scored, but the Mavericks got a break when Islanders center fielder Chase Williams let the ball get by him. McLeod scored on the play, and the Mavericks had cut the lead to 4-3. From there, it was up to the Mavericks offense and Clementz (1-2) to try and bring home the victory from behind. Clementz started the sixth in relief of Andy Sauter.
UTA's offense did its part right away, getting a Pitschka leadoff single and David McLeod double down the right-field line off Islanders reliever Brett Gibson to make it 4-4. With nobody out, Matt Otteman singled to put the go-ahead run on third with the team's second-leading hitting Michael Choice up to bat against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's second reliever of the inning, Bryant Sparkman.
Choice hit a long fly to right-field, and UTA had regained the lead for good, 5-4.