May 24, 2003
MONROE, Louisiana...The University of Texas at Arlington baseball team used everything they had in the tank to fight their way through the loser's bracket and make their way to the championship game, but did not have anything left as the McNeese State Cowboys shut down the Mavericks, 14-0, on their way to capturing the 2003 Southland Conference Tournament Championship.
MSU (31-28) got on the board in the third inning as Derek Bordelon started the inning with a walk and Lance Dawkins followed by being hit by a pitch. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners up, Dooley Prince hit an infield single up the middle and when Darrell Preston could not handle the throw, the second run came into to score.
UTA (37-25) threatened to score in the third inning as Kasey Baker walked and Chris Taylor singled through the left side of the infield to start the inning. The Mavs could not get a run across as Ryan Roberts struck out, Hunter Pence hit into a fielder's choice and Preston flew out to the wall in center field.
The Cowboys came calling again in the fifth inning as a one out single by Dawkins was followed by singles by Dustin Smith and Dooley Prince scored another run. A groundout by Ran Prince scored the fourth run of the game.
MSU broke the game open in the sixth inning as four more hits and a sacrifice fly pushed four more runs across the board.
The Cowboys produced a two-run single following a hit batter and two walks loaded the bases.
Rusty Begnaud (8-4) earned the victory by pitching six shutout innings allowing only three hits while striking out three. Blake Person (0-1) took the loss by allowing two earned runs on one hit in 2.1 innings of work.
The Mavs will now have to sit and wait and see if the play this season is worthy enough of an at-large bid into the NCAA Regionals.