May 24, 2003
MONROE, Louisiana...The University of Texas at Arlington baseball team forced a winner take all championship game as they took the first championship game 12-7 over McNeese State Saturday afternoon at Indian Field. The two teams will return to the diamond thirty minutes after the conclusion of the first game to determine the SLC Tournament Champion.
UTA (37-24) got on the board in the first inning as Kasey Baker singled through the left side and took second when the Cowboys lazily through the ball back into the infield. After a Chris Taylor groundout moved Baker to third, Ryan Roberts delivered a sacrifice fly to left field for his single season record 67th RBI of the season.
MSU (29-28) took the lead in the home half of the first as Dooley Prince reached on an error and brother Ran doubled into the right center field gap scoring Dooley. Ran Prince took third on the throw and scored on a groundout to shortstop.
The Mavericks took the lead for good in the second inning as Paul Bruder was hit by a pitch and Aaron Batlle sacrificed him to second. Robby Deevers followed by depositing his ninth homer over the left field wall.
The top of the third was much of the same as Roberts started the inning by being hit by a pitch. Pence followed with a bunt single to third and Bruder hit a one out RBI single back up the middle. After a walk to Batlle loaded the bases, MSU went to the bullpen to get left-hander LaVelle Morgan, who gave up a fielder's choice RBI groundout to Deevers.
In the fourth, Baker started things with a single through the right side. Taylor sacrificed him to second before Roberts collected his 16th home run of the season over the right field wall. Pence followed with his eighth home run of the season over the left center field wall. The rally continued as Preston singled to center field and Bruder singled down the right field line. After a wild pitch advanced the runners, Deevers hit a two run triple that rolled through the infield all the way to the wall in left center field.
The Cowboys used a pair of hits and a Maverick error to push a pair of runs across in the fourth inning.
UTA got its 11th run of the game in the sixth inning as Deevers singled to right center and after a sacrifice, scored on a Taylor single through the left side.
The Mavs final run of the game came in the ninth inning as Dustin Bozarth drew a one out walk and went to third when Baker reached on a fielding error. Taylor plated Bozarth with a sacrifice fly to center field.
MSU added three runs in the ninth inning as Brian Bernhardt hit a three-run homer over the left field wall.
Pence and Deevers each collected three hits for the Mavericks, while Deevers knocked in five runs. Roberts tied the conference record with his 97th hit of the season with his home run in the fourth.
Aaron Pullin (8-2) picked up the victory by pitching a complete game, allowing seven runs, two earned, on 11 hits with three stikeouts. John Doerfler (5-6) took the loss by allowing five runs, four earned, on six hits in 2.1 innings of work.