FORMER MAVERICK GETS FIRST VICTORY AS A MANAGER
March 31, 2008
DETROIT, Mich. - - Former UT Arlington baseball player Trey Hillman earned his first victory as a Major League manager Monday when the Kansas City Royals opened the season with a 5-4 victory against Detroit.
Hillman, a three-time All-Southland Conference shortstop and UTA Hall of Honor inductee, was hired as the Royals manager in October. Before that, he enjoyed a highly successful coaching career in Japan. Hillman's first victory in the majors didn't come easy, and it took a clutch hit and fundamental baseball in extra innings to secure the win.
Mark Teahen opend the 11th inning with a walk, advanced on a bunt and was thrown out at home. But with John Buck on second and two outs, Tony Pena singled in the winning run. Detroit couldn't answer in the bottom of in inning, and Kansas City enjoyed a road victory in front of 44,934 fans.
Hillman coached for 11 years as a manager in the New York Yankees' chain, starting as a 27-year old skipper and recording a first-place finish with Oneonta (A) in 1990 and running through the 2001 campaign with Columbus (AAA).
His three years at Columbus featured a 225-203 record, including an International League best 85-58 mark in 1999 and league Manager of the Year honors in 2000.
Hillman also earned the honor in 1996 in the Florida State League, and was voted Baseball America's Class A Manager of the Year. Hillman wasn't the only UT Arlington connection to savor the Opening Day victory on Monday.
Kansas City bench coach Dave Owen is also a former Maverick.
The Royals and Tigers take a day off Tuesday before resuming the series with a 12:05 p.m. game Wednesday in Detroit.