May 19, 2011
ARLINGTON, Tex. - Every UT Arlington starter had one hit and Lance Day held No. 25 Texas State in check over 7.0 innings in the Mavericks' 6-5 win Thursday night at Clay Gould Ballpark.
Though not technically a must-win game, UTA knew it entered the final weekend of the regular season needing to win at least two of three games to have a shot at qualifying for the Southland Conference Tournament.
"I thought we got some great team baseball out there tonight," UTA coach Darin Thomas said. "We got a hit from everyone in the lineup and got tremendous pitching from both Lance and Collin Reynolds. Now we just have to stay hot and take care of our own business."
The Mavs (26-28, 14-17) responded with a key win and, coupled with losses by Lamar and McNeese State, moved them into a three-way tie for seventh. It also snapped UTA's 10-game losing streak.
They still have work to do after Thursday's win. If the season ended Thursday, UTA would be the team left out of the SLC Tournament in the tie-breaker.
Day held the SLC champion Bobcats (34-19, 23-8) to four runs over his 7.0 innings of work. They managed nine hits off the right-hander, who walked three and fanned three. Day (4-7) earned the victory.
Reynolds fired the final 2.0 innings, allowing one run, to earn his second save of the season. He recorded the final out with the tying run on second base when Jesse Payne fielded a chopper by Joey Fuda and gunned down the Texas State right fielder by half a step.
The Mavericks scored five runs in the second inning. They had some assistance in doing so.
With the bases loaded and nobody out, Nick Orr chopped a shot to Bobcats shortstop Christian Gallegos, who threw wide of second base in trying to force out Chad Comer. Brian Nephew would have scored on the play anyway, but the error allowed Payne and Comer to score as well. With two outs, the Mavs added two more runs on an RBI single from Ryan Walker and an RBI double from Michael Guerra.
Only one of the five runs Pitts allowed in the second inning was earned.
After Texas State cut the lead to 5-4, the Mavs rallied for what proved to be a crucial insurance run in the eighth.
Comer got hit by a pitch, breaking the career record for hit batsmen in the process, and Orr followed with a single. That set the stage for Jordan Vaughn, who smacked a run-scoring single up the middle and gave the Mavs a 6-4 lead heading into the ninth.
Texas State threatened to tie the game in the ninth, scoring a run on Jeff McVaney's two-out RBI double to right field. However, Reynolds got Fuda to ground out to close the game.
McVaney led the Bobcats by going 3-for-5 with 2 RBI. Andrew Stumph went 3-for-5 with an RBI as well.
Nephew extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a single to right field to lead off the second inning.
UT Arlington is scheduled to return to the field Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Check UTAMavs.com for any changes in game time.