COSTLY FIRST-INNING ERROR HELPS SEND MAVS TO DEFEAT
May 24, 2006
BEAUMONT, Texas - A very costly first-inning error helped Texas State score four runs in the bottom of the first inning and never be threatened throughout in handing UT-Arlington a 9-3 defeat in the opening round of the 2006 Southland Conference Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Vincent-Beck Stadium.
The first inning was the trouble inning for the second straight SLC Tournament opener as the Mavs gave up five runs to Lamar in the 2005 opener in an 8-1 defeat.
A costly first-inning error helped the Bobcats (29-28) push across four runs, three earned, in the frame. Cassidy Dresch started the inning with a single to right center and Kyle Jones reached on a fielding error by the second baseman on what should have been a routine double play. After a sacrifice bunt, Cody Merrell delivered an RBI single and David Wood had an RBI bloop double down the right field line. With two outs, Dawid Bednarek delivered a two-run single into right center.
"That error in the first inning really hurt us," said head coach Jeff Curtis. "Whenever we put up a run we like to come out of there and answer that with a zero in the bottom of the first. That kind of set the tone for the rest of the game and eventually got out of hand there at the end."
TXST added to its lead in the second as Dresch singled through the left side and Luke Cannon delivered a two-run blast over the right field wall.
The Cats offense continued to produce with two outs in the fourth as after a walk and a sac bunt, Merrell pushed a single through the right side for an RBI.
UTA started to claw their way back into the game in the fifth as Daniel Rieder walked, McLeod was hit by a pitch and Moore singled through the right side with one out. Ben Burum plated the first run with a bases loaded walk and Danny Slinkman delivered a two-out RBI single up the middle.
The Cats loaded the bases in the eighth with a walk and a pair of bunt singles before Jones delivered an RBI single and Cannon a sac fly to right.
Dillon Gee (6-9) took the loss as he gave up seven runs, four earned, on seven hits in 3.1 innings. Scott Moore (10-4) picked up the victory after allowing three runs on six hits in 5.1 innings. He walked four and struck out eight.
The loss moves the Mavs into the first elimination game tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. against regular season champion McNeese State. The probable pitching matchup should pit UTA freshman left hander Kyle Gainley against MSU right hander Derek Blacksher.
Head Coach Jeff Curtis Post Game Quotes
On Texas State being one of the top hitting teams in the conference
"They always do a very good job at there park and that is where we played them this season. The wind blows out there 90-percent of the time so coming in here today with the wind blowing in we thought that might stabilize them a little bit. They did a good job early hitting the ball flat and that is something you have to do here. But, from what we have seen, they are one of the better hitting teams in the conference for sure."
On having to play top-seeded McNeese State
"It doesn't matter with a six-team tournament. You have to play well and win some games in a row. With it being such a short tournament, there is no way why you can't come back through it. It doesn't matter who it is. All these teams are beatable, but you have to play better than we did today."
Starting Pitcher Dillon Gee Quotes
On the effect of the first inning error
"I didn't really feel that good, but I haven't felt good before and bulldogged my way through it. The error hurt me, but I still should haven't done as bad as I did. I just didn't have it."
On the home run to Luke Cannon
"It was a just a first pitch, new count new guy. I was just trying to get ahead with a changeup. He must have been sitting on it. That is all I have thrown him last series and so far today."