May 19, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas – Preston Beck went 2-for-3 with a home run and six RBI, yet it was his patience that led UT Arlington to an 8-7 comeback win Saturday over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at Clay Gould Ballpark.
Beck, with the bases loaded and two outs in a tie game in the eighth, took a 3-2 pitch for ball four to bring in the go-ahead run in the regular-season finale.
“He had a huge weekend,” UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. “He pressed a bit last week – just like everybody on our team did. That just shows he’s human.
“Drawing the walk was an RBI. That’s all it took today.”
With the win, the Mavericks (32-23, 19-14) earned the No. 4 seed in the Southland Conference Tournament. They will face McNeese State on Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the first round.
Adam Boydston worked a scoreless ninth to earn the 23rd save of his UT Arlington career, tying him for the program record.
“I’m so thankful to all my teammates and coaches throughout my career,” Boydston said. “To do this at home in the last game I will ever play here is pretty incredible. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Adam Westbrook earned his first win of the season, hurling 3.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
“I thought the key was Westbrook,” Thomas said. “We struggled early on. It seemed like they had guys on base all the time. Adam came in and settled their bats down.”
Jeramie Marek went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored to pace the Islanders (23-20, 14-18) offensively.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (23-21, 14-19), which clinched the No. 8 seed in the conference tournament with Nicholls and Northwestern State both losing on Saturday, exploded for 17 hits through the first six innings. The Islanders scored three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to build a 7-1 lead.
Then it all came crashing down for the Islanders.
Beck hit his 11th home run of the season in the fifth inning with runners on the corners and two outs. The junior’s shot left no doubt off the bat, easily clearing the trees behind the right-field fence. It also pulled the Mavericks to within a couple runs at 7-5.
That set the stage for Beck to give the Mavs the lead with his patience rather than his bat in the eighth.
“The last couple weeks I probably would have just put the pitch in play,” Beck said. “I wasn’t seeing the ball as well then. Now I feel like I’m seeing it pretty well.”
For the Islanders, Jordan Lee provided the game’s first run when his two-out single to left allowed Marek to score. The lead could have been greater but Preston Morrow came up with the ball on a hop and fired a strike to the plate to gun down Drew Vest to end the inning.
Beck’s 11 homers this season ties him for eighth in a single season in UTA history. Michael Choice (2009), Jason Smith (1993) and Rusty Jones (1978) also hit 11 home runs in a season at UTA.
Beck’s 60 RBIs this season tie him for sixth all-time in single-season UTA history.
In the third, Beck gave the Mavericks their only lead of the game when he lined a single into left-center field to drive home a couple.
“To me, he should be the Player of the Year,” Thomas said.
UT Arlington now shifts its attention to the Southland Conference Tournament. The double-elimination tournament will be held in San Marcos at Bobcat Ballpark.