UTA Takes Series Opener From SFA
April 27, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Lumberjacks got a run in the first inning, but nothing else until the ninth as UT Arlington starter Lance Day nearly went the distance in a 4-2 Maverick win over SFA in the series opener Friday at Jaycees Field.
The loss spoiled an otherwise solid start from Chase Greening, who had won each of his last three starts for the `Jacks (16-26, 9-13 SLC) and allowed three runs on 12 hits in seven innings of work. He struck out two and walked two.
Meanwhile Day, who picked up a win earlier in the season in non-conference play over the `Jacks, struck out three and walked two in 8.2 innings on the hill. He allowed 10 hits, but after loading the bases in each of the first two innings, had a stretch of three innings in the middle of the game in which he did not allow a base runner. Micahel Morales recorded the last out of the game to pick up his second save of the season.
The Mavs got (27-15, 14-8 SLC) got at least one hit from every hitter in its lineup, led by three singles from Preston Morrow and two RBI from Michael Guerra. For the second straight game the SFA pitching staff allowed double-digit hits, with only one going for extra bases.
Rene' Moreda led the `Jacks with three hits offensively, while Freddy Villalobos and Ricardo Sanchez also had two hits apiece. Hunter Dozier had the lone RBI for the `Jacks with a sacrifice fly in the first inning, snapping a streak of 12 consecutive games to reach base.
The `Jacks gave Greening an early lead in the first inning by manufacturing a run after Moreda opened the inning with a double into the left-field corner. Villalobos bunted him to third and Dozier brought him in with a fly ball to left field on the first pitch he saw from Day. SFA went on to load the bases with its next three hitters, but could not manage to get another run across the plate.
Greening worked around a one-out single in the bottom of the second before SFA threatened to score again in the bottom half of the inning. Bryce Cummings worked a leadoff walk and Zach Benson and Moreda followed with consecutive singles to load the bags with nobody out; however, all-SLC outfielder Preston Beck helped out his pitcher as he gunned Cummings down at home plate one batter later as he was trying to score on a sacrifice fly before Dozier fouled out to end the threat.
The Mavs put a runner on base in both the third and fourth innings before finally breaking through in the fifth when designated hitter Derek Miller poked a two-out, two-strike pitch into right field for an RBI single to score Brent Bollinger from second base.
One inning later UTA went in front when Greg McCall followed Morrow's second single of the day with the only UTA extra-base hit of the afternoon, a double to deep center field to put the Mavs ahead 2-1 as it scored Morrow all the way from first base. They then took advantage of a failed pickoff play in the seventh as Guerra drove in the first of his two runs with a two-out single to score Miller, giving Day and the Mavs a 3-1 lead.
Day responded by working scoreless seventh and eighth innings before adding an unearned insurance run off of SFA reliever Cody Priest when Guerra connected on a sacrifice fly to once again score Miller, who had reached on an one-out error.
The put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the ninth to make things interesting as singles from Moreda and Villalobos brought the tying run to the plate and chased Day from the game for Morales, who needed just three pitches to earn his second save of the year. He got Dozier to swing at the first pitch he saw, allowing a run on an error on the third baseman Bollinger, before getting Jarid Scarafiotti to ground out to close things out.
Cameron Gann will get the ball for the `Jacks on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in the second game of the series against UTA righty Zach Thompson.