SB: Offense shines in fall opener

Sept. 28, 2017

ARLINGTON, Texas -- UTA's offense didn't show any signs of offseason rust as the Mavericks powered 20 hits on the way to a 13-5 win over Odessa College on Thursday to open exhibition play at Allan Saxe Field.

Reagan Wright led the attack with a 2-for-3 day at the plate, driving in four RBI and scoring a run -- three RBI coming in the first two frames. Overall, UTA had six players with multiple-hit days in the 10-inning contest. The matchup is the first of five fall games for the team.

"It went pretty well", UTA coach Peejay Brun said. "I don't think we are where we see this team being at and this game showed us a lot of what we need to work on. It is not about the score at the end, especially at this time of the year it is us finding about what we need to work on and how we can move forward. I am pleased about what I am seeing."

UTA's bats came out flying in the first as they would start a four-inning streak of putting up runs. Wright started off the fun with a double that glanced off the wall to bring in two. The sophomore catcher came home later on a wild pitch, while Madison Miller drove in a run on a single to left.

Cy'Andria Newton knocked a one-out triple in the second to get things started. Wright connected in the next at-bat to drive a ball down the left-field line to bring Newton in.

Bri Burchianti joined with Newton in the third to start a streak of two runs coming in over the next two innings. Burchianti's double joined with Newton's single to bring in two in the third.

Scoring slowed for UTA in the fifth, while Odessa College got on the board in the fifth with two runs. However, the pair were the lone two for Odessa against starting pitcher JoJo Valencia. Valencia pitched five innings, giving up six hits and just two runs, while stirking out three.


 

 

Back-to-back sac flies in the seventh got the offense going once again, while the Mavs would add a run in both the eight and ninth, including a home run from Avery Grimes.

Michal Hylton was in the circle for the final five innings, giving up just one hit, while allowing two runs to score when the team went into situational play. Hylton struck out four without a free pass.

"Keeping their focus," Brun said of what the team will be working on between today and its next game. "At the start they were excited, but they started to lose their focus as the game went out. We need to take a lot of the little things into practice. We have a whole week before the next game, so we will work on fixing the mental mistakes. When we take care of the mental stuff, all of the other things will fall into place."

UTA continues fall action on the road when it takes on UT Dallas and Midwestern State in Dallas on Oct. 7. The Mavs are back at Allan Saxe Field on Oct. 17 to take on Vernon College. Admission is free for the exhibition contest.

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