May 16, 2013
Game 2 Probable Starting Pitchers:
UTA - Zach Thompson (5-4, 5.43 ERA) vs. Sac State - Ty Nichols (4-5, 3.68 ERA)
SACRAMENTO, California – Matt Shortall crushed a pair of two-run home runs to lead UT Arlington to a 15-7 Western Athletic Conference win Thursday afternoon at Sacramento State.
The Mavericks (28-25) strengthened their hold on second place in the WAC by improving to 16-9. The Hornets, one of the teams trying to chase down UTA, dropped to 33-21 overall and 14-11 in league play.
The three-game series, which closes out the regular season, resumes Friday with a 5 p.m. CT first pitch at John Smith Field. The final game is Saturday at 3 p.m. CT.
Shortall paced a 14-hit, four-homer onslaught in UT Arlington's first-ever visit to Sacramento State. The junior designated hitter is the first Maverick to homer twice in a game this season. Shortall also increased his team-leading RBI total to 51.
The Mavericks struck first, staking starter Brad Vachon to a 7-0 lead by batting round in the second. Two home runs, two errors, two RBI doubles and a run-scoring single accounted for the scoring.
Greg McCall's towering home run to right-center opened the second. The ball got up in the breeze and easily sailed, hitting one of the flag posts in the process. The Hornets hadn't given up a home run at home since March 24.
Jake Pinchback followed with a single and reached third on a botched pickoff attempt. Brandon Lawrence's fly was dropped in right, allowing Pinchback to score and Lawrence to reach second. John Michael Twichell and Darien McLemore stroked back-to-back doubles to the right-center gap pushed the lead to 4-0.
Derek Miller's single to right scored McLemore. Shortall smashed his sixth home run of the season to bring Miller around and finish off the second-inning uprising. The Mavericks hadn't had more than one home run in a game this season before knocking two out in the second.
The Hornets scored their first run without getting a hit in the third, as Vachon walked the bases full and hit a batter to put Sacramento State on the board. The first hit allowed by Vachon – a grand slam – ended his afternoon.
The Hornets responded with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning off Weaver. Shortall struck again in the sixth, blasting a two-run shot off the parking garage beyond the left-field fence.
Weaver worked 5.1 innings in relief to pick up the win, improving to 4-1. Lawrence matched his career high with four RBI, adding a two-run double in UTA's five-run eighth. Twichell added a two-run shot in the eighth for a 15-6 leading, matching UTA's season high for runs.