May 16, 2009
ARLINGTON, Texas - Matt Otteman had a career night hitting a grand slam and a three run homer to finish with a career-high seven RBI in UT Arlington's 14-6 victory over No. 25 Texas State on Friday evening at Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington. Eight Mavericks finished with multi-hit games and senior Andy Sauter pitched 3.2 innings in relief to win his fourth game of the season. UT Arlington improves to 29-24 overall and to 19-13 in the SLC while Texas State had its six-game SLC win streak snapped and falls to 38-14 overall and to 24-7 in league play.
"It was a great offensive performance for us," Mavericks head coach Darin Thomas said. "We obviously also got great bullpen relief from Andy Sauter and Drew Clementz tonight. It was good to see Andy get back out there and throw well because we are going to need him down the stretch. Drew did a great job. He hasn't been out there in awhile, and that is tough to do that, and he went out there and threw two-scoreless innings."
After the Mavericks took a 2-0 lead in the first inning off an RBI triple from Tim Steggall and an RBI single from Michael Choice, Otteman launched his first home run of the night - a three-run bomb to left field. The Mavs also scored runs in the inning off an RBI double from Steggall and an RBI single up the middle by catcher Chad Comer to give the Mavericks a 7-0 lead.
"This was a good boost for our team," Otteman said. "Last night was a tough loss, we felt like we should have came away with a win. But we came out with some fire today."
UT Arlington starting pitcher Nathan Long cruised into the fourth inning after striking out three batters in the second and notching his fourth strikeout in the third while not allowing a run. The Bobcats' offense would not be kept down for long as they notched six runs on six hits off Long before he exited with just one out in the inning.
That is when the Mavericks looked to Sauter to get them out of the inning and to hold their 7-6 lead. Sauter immediately got the Mavericks out of the inning with a fly ball out to left field and with Spenser Dennis, who walked off Sauter, ending the inning on a stolen-base attempt at second base.
Sauter pitched the fifth, sixth and seventh innings without allowing a run and finished his outing allowing only one hit with two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings of work.
"We had a big lead that got away from us pretty quick," Sauter said. "I just tried to come in and throw strikes and minimize the damage and we ended up getting out of the inning."
Sauter made his comeback last Sunday while facing just two batters in relief against Lamar after missing a month with an injury.
"I felt good tonight, it was nice to get an extended outing," Sauter said. "I just tried to throw strikes and pitch to contact. This is a big win for us. Anytime you can get a win against a team that is nationally ranked it can help get your team in the right frame of mind."
Drew Clementz teamed with Sauter to not allow Texas State to score as the two combined to throw 5 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
The UT Arlington hitters had one big inning left in them as they plated six runs in the fifth inning on four base hits - including the bit hit in the inning - Otteman's grand slam to right field as he recorded his seventh RBI of the game. Otteman's seven RBI are one shy of tying the UT Arlington all-time single-game record for RBI as three former Mavs have tallied eight in a game.
The Mavericks never trailed in the game and ended up scoring their 14th and final run of the game in the eighth inning on a towering home run to left field by Mitch Putman, giving the senior his fourth home run during the month of May.
Steggall went 2-for-5 with three runs and three RBI, Comer hit two doubles and collected an RBI and Michael Choice added a 2-for-4 performance with two runs scored and an RBI.
The Mavericks also hosted "Miracle League" prior to the game as they spent close to two hours with children from the Arlington community, working on drills and having fun with the game of baseball.
"I think part of the reason why we played well today was because of starting the day with the Miracle League," Otteman said. "That is a great thing, having the kids come out and seeing how happy they are just to play the game. I think that set the tone for us today. We just had fun with it and I think it showed today."
The Mavericks will look to win their seventh SLC series on Sunday with a 1:15 p.m. scheduled first pitch. Before game three of the series, the Mavericks will recognize their 20 seniors as each of the seniors will be introduced prior to the start of the final home game of the season.
With one regular season game remaining, several UT Arlington players will be looking to break all-time single-season records... Matt Otteman entered Saturday with a 19 point lead in the Southland Conference batting title race, he upped his average one point and is now batting .433 on the season... Sam Houston State first baseman Nick Zaleski entered Saturday with a .413 average... Otteman also currently leads the SLC with eight triples on the season... Otteman's .433 batting average ranks second in UTA single-season history just behind all-time great Trey Hillman's .442 batting average he recorded in 1985... Otteman needs just five RBI to become the school's all-time single-season leader in RBI... Otteman now has 65 RBI and ranks fourth all-time and trails Ryan Roberts' 69 RBI (2003) by only four... Otteman now has 91 base hits, becoming just the second UTA player ever to record 90 hits in a single-season... Otteman needs six base hits to tie and seven hits to break the all-time single-season record set by Ryan Roberts with 97 base hits in 2003... Otteman's eight triples ranks second in school history, as Rusty Jones holds the all-time single-season mark with 11 (1979)... Prior to the start of this season, only three players in UTA history had ever batted .400 in a single-season, this season three Mavericks are currently hitting at least .407... Otteman leads the team and SLC with a .433 mark, Andrew Kainer is batting .412 and Michael Choice is hitting .407 as all three batters have at least 194 at-bats... Michael Choice needs just three base hits to join Otteman and Roberts as the only players in UTA history to record 90 hits in a single-season... Michael Choice recorded his 60th run scored tonight and currently ranks sixth on the Mavs' all-time list... Choice trails Ryan Roberts by nine runs scored for the all-time record... Roberts posted 69 runs in 2003... Andrew Kainer will look to add to his school-record 23 doubles, as he is one of 10 UTA players ever to record 20 doubles in a single-season... Jay Pitschka needs just two hit by pitches to join his former teammate, Danny Slinkman (2008), for the school's all-time lead with 15... Pitschka has 13 hit by pitches and is joined in double figures by Andrew Kainer (10)... Nathan Long's four strikeouts on Friday place him tied for third on the UTA single-season strikeout list with 96... Long needs eight strikeout to break the school's all-time record of 103 which is held by Doug Myres (103 in 1987) and Bruce Marshall (103 in 1976)... Long is currently tied for third place with Dillon Gee (96 in 2007) and Steve Foster (96 in 1988)... Long's four strikeouts improves his career total to 221, ranking him third all-time and just five strikeouts away from taking over second place all-time... Jimmy Stewart (225, 1970-73) and Lonnie Salyers (279, 1970-73) are the only two pitchers in UTA history with more strikeouts than Long's 221... Sophomore Adam Boydston now has 27 appearances this season ranking him tied for ninth most in a single-season at UTA.