BSB: Shortall, pitching lead Mavs past Sacramento State
May 17, 2013
Game 3 Probable Starting Pitchers:
SACRAMENTO, California – Matt Shortall delivered again and UT Arlington locked down no worse than second place in the Western Athletic Conference with Friday afternoon's 3-2 win over Sacramento State at John Smith Field.
The Mavericks (29-25) improved to 17-9 in the league and clinched at least the No. 2 seed in next week's WAC Tournament. UT Arlington still has an outside chance to win the regular-season title, depending on how first-place CSU Bakersfield fares this weekend.
The Mavericks go for the sweep over the Hornets (33-22, 14-12) in Sunday's third game of the series, which also concludes the regular season. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT.
UT Arlington managed only five hits Friday, with just one coming after the first inning. Ryan Walker had two of the base knocks to complement another Shortall power surge.
Pitching carried the day for the Mavericks, especially with runners on base. UTA starter Zach Thompson (6-4) worked around a few sticky situations, while reliever John Beck navigated out of major scoring threat in the seventh. Kennedy Winn got a key out with the tying run on third in the eighth and Daniel Milliman got the final out for his second save.
Shortall picked up where he left off Thursday, crushing Sacramento State pitching again. His three-run homer run in the first staked Thomason to an early lead. Shortall has three homers in the first two games of the series, giving him eight dingers this season.
Walker opened the game with a sharp single to center and Derek Miller bunted for hit. Unlike his two homers to left in Game 1, Shortall went the opposite way against Hornets starter Ty Nichols and cleared the wall in right-center.
Thompson ran into trouble in the fourth, giving up three hits before registering an out. The sophomore right-hander also had a wild pitch (scoring a run) and walk in the innings, as the Hornets scored twice to pull within 3-2.
Thompson did strand two Sacramento State runners and ended the fourth with a strikeout. After two runners got on to start the seventh, Beck relieved Thompson. The Hornets loaded the bases with a single.
Beck escaped the jam with some nifty defense, starting with his glove work. He bounced on a suicide squeeze and shoveled the ball to catcher Greg McCall for the first out at home. A bouncing ball up the middle was gobbled up by Walker at short who tip-toed the bag and threw to first to end the inning.