May 22, 2013
WAC Tournament Central
No. 2 UTA vs. No. 6 New Mexico State, Friday, 3 p.m.
No. 2 UTA vs. No. 3 Texas State, Saturday, 7 p.m.
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - UT Arlington junior Brad Vachon turned in a career performance in Wednesday night's 2-0 victory over Dallas Baptist in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament at QuikTrip Park.
Brandon Lawrence played a part in both runs - driving in one and scoring the other - in the opening game of the Pool B play for the second-seeded Mavericks. After an off day Thursday, UT Arlington (31-25) faces New Mexico State at 3 p.m. Friday.
Vachon maneuvered his way through a solid DBU lineup, striking out a career-high 11 before leaving with a shutout intact with two outs in the eighth inning. The second-team all-WAC pitcher improved his record to 7-4, as the Mavericks were able to start the tournament on the right foot.
The Mavericks took the early lead, scoring a run in the second. Greg McCall opened the inning with a single and stole second. Two outs and a passed ball later, he was standing at third with Lawrence at the plate. Lawrence (2-3) lined a base hit up the middle to give UTA a 1-0 edge.
Vachon left runners in scoring position in both the second and third innings. The junior induced a double play with the bases loaded and one out in the second and notched a strikeout with the a Patriot at third with two outs in the third.
"Everything went well," Vachon said. "My off speed was good. After i got through the shaky second inning, I cruised the rest of the way out."
The Mavericks didn't manufacture another serious threat until the sixth. Derek Miller singled to start the frame and Matt Shortall worked a walk for two on with none out. The Patriots were able to escape that jam, but DBU wasn't as lucky in the seventh.
Lawrence lined another single to start the seventh, and reached third on an error and wild pitch. Ryan Walker's sacrifice fly ball upped UTA's lead to 2-0, as Lawrence scored easily with a head-first slide.
"We've been putting up big numbers all year," Lawrence said. "You are going to struggle every now and then. It's awesome to have Brad come out there and throw a game like that."
The shutout was the first for UT Arlington in a conference tournament since blanking UTSA 4-0 in the 1999 Southland Conference Tournament.