Early Innings Doom Mavs in Loss at Texas A&M

Michael Choice received his nation leading 70th walk on Tuesday night

May 18, 2010

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Preston Beck went 2-for-4 with three RBI and extended his career-high hit streak to 14 games in UT Arlington's 11-7 loss at Texas A&M Tuesday night with a crowd of 2,671 in attendance at Olsen Field.

The Mavericks (26-27) dug an early hole allowing 10 runs in the opening two innings as the Aggies (34-18-1) won their sixth consecutive midweek game.

UT Arlington starter Mark Picca (2-6) took the loss allowing 10 runs (nine earned) in the first and second inning, allowing 11 hits with two strikeouts.

The Maverick bats and bullpen allowed UTA to climb back into the game as two UTA reliever combined held Texas A&M to one run in the final six innings. In fact, the Mavericks cut the Aggies lead to five runs (11-6) in the seventh after Beck's two-run double and loaded the bases with two outs.

That is when Texas A&M reliever Nick Fleece entered the game and ended the Mavs' rally, striking out pinch hitter Taylor Mabra on a full count to hold the Aggies lead.

Beck scored UTA's final run of the game with a single to center field in the eighth inning to score shortstop Jesse Payne who led off the inning with a single to left field.

Aggies starting pitcher Clayton Ehlert (3-6) came away with the victory throwing 6.0 innings and striking out two while giving up four runs and four hits with two walks. Fleece earned his first save of the season pitching the final 2.1 innings where he struck out one and allowed one run on three base hits.

UT Arlington All-American center fielder Michael Choice reached base three times in five plate appearances with two hit by pitches and one walk - raising his season walk total to 70, which leads the nation. Choice has now reached base safely in 65 consecutive games dating back to last season.

Choice was robbed of a base hit up the middle in his final at-bat in the eighth inning as the Aggies infield played a shift on Choice with their second baseman fielding the hard-hit ground ball directly behind second base.

Payne went 2-for-5 with an RBI, Jordan Vaughn drove in a run going 1-for-5, Cody Dyvig drove in the Mavs' first run in the second inning while going 1-for-5 and Steffan Guest hit his team-leading 21st double of the season going 1-for-4 with an RBI.

UTA reliever Brian Watson was the first out of the bullpen for the Mavs as he pitched 4.0 innings allowing just one run on four hits with a strikeout. Calan Pritchard pitched the final 2.0 innings for the Mavs allowing just two hits with one strikeout without allowing a run.

The Mavericks will conclude their Southland Conference schedule with a three-game series at Texas State this Thursday (6:30 p.m.), Friday (6:30 p.m.) and Saturday (1 p.m.) in San Marcos, Texas, at Bobcat Baseball Stadium.

UT Arlington will then prepare for the Southland Conference Tournament, which will be held in Corpus Christi, Texas, May 26-29, at Whataburger Field. The Mavericks have secured at least a No. 6 seed in the tournament bracket and currently sit in fifth place in the league standings.




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