UTA rally falls short in 7-6 loss to HBU
The UT Arlington baseball team did not have to look far to determine where it lost its first game of the UTA/Hilton Invitational Friday at Clay Gould Ballpark.
In fact, the Mavericks didn’t have to look any further than the infield.
Playing in Game 2 of the three-team double round robin tournament, UTA marooned eight base runners in the final three innings of a 7-6 loss to Houston Baptist. Twice, the Mavericks (5-3) left the bases loaded, in the seventh and eighth innings.
In the ninth inning, UTA had runners on second and third with none out, yet could not get the tying and winning runs across.
“We had our chances,” UTA coach Darin Thomas said. “The story of the game, though, is that we dug ourselves a hole when we went down, 6-1. You don't win many games when you do that. It's nice to keep fighting, but you can't rely on that or it's going to be a long year.”
Matt Shortall, the Mavericks’ designated hitter, and Ryan Walker each had three hits in the game. Shortall had a home run and three runs batted in, while Walker collected an RBI and scored twice.
Houston Baptist (5-4-1) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against UTA starter Andy Scott, who exited the game without retiring a batter. Jordan McCoy had an RBI double and Mike Chamberlain singled in McCoy two outs later.
After the Huskies added another run in the second, UTA retaliated in the bottom half of the inning, with Shortall drilling a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence to cut the deficit to 4-1.
HBU tacked on two more runs in the third on a two-run double by Curtis Jones that stretched the Huskies’ lead to 6-1. In the Maverick third, Travis Sibley doubled and later scored on Walker’s infield hit.
Chamberlain opened the fifth inning for HBU with a double to right, and scored two batters later on C.J. Jarvis’ sacrifice fly to right to make the score 7-2.
The Mavericks began chipping away at the margin in the sixth by collecting back-to-back run-scoring singles from Shortall and Brandon Lawrence.
Justin Copeland then added an RBI single in the seventh and Shortall doubled in Walker in the ninth to trim the deficit to one, but it was as close as UTA could get.
HBU starter Ryan Lower picked up the win, and closer Jake Gonzalez was credited with the save. Scott was saddled with the loss for UTA.
On Saturday, the Mavericks will play their second game of the tournament at 3 p.m. against Illinois. The Illini will take on Houston Baptist in Saturday’s first game at 11 a.m.
(UTA Sports Information contributed to this story.)
(Photography provided by Russ Rendon. Contact Russ today to shoot photos for your next event.)