LITTLE ROCK, AR – The Trojans used a five-run rally to erase an early deficit, but the Mavericks were able to hold on in extras and win 6-5 at Gary Hogan Field.
UT Arlington (23-25, 12-10 SBC) built a 5-0 lead over UALR (20-25, 5-15 SBC) before the Trojans stormed back with five runs in the seventh highlighted by a two-run home run by Justin Steelmon. However, the Mavericks posted a run in the 10th and the Trojans couldn’t respond and took the loss.
UTA got out to a 1-0 lead on a solo homer off the bat of Matt Shortall. From there UALR starter Travis McDonald settled in and threw four straight scoreless innings.
The Trojans threatened in the first when Austin Pfeiffer doubled to lead off the inning, but they couldn’t bring him around. The team came right back and loaded the bases in the second but once again UTA starter Daniel Milliman was able to strand the runners and preserve UTA’s 1-0 lead.
UALR was able to load the bases again in the fifth with two outs, however Milliman got a groundout to end the threat and keep the game 1-0. The Trojans stranded nine runners in the game with six coming in the second and fifth innings combined.
In the sixth Derek Miller reached on a bunt single before Shortall got to McDonald again with an RBI double to left field to score Miller lead. Ryan Bottger followed with a single to score Shortall and make it 3-0 in favor of the visitors.
McDonald came back out for the seventh and started the inning by striking out Justin Copeland before Levi Scott homered and stretched the Maverick’s lead out to 4-0. McDonald gave up a double to Darien McLemore and got a groundout before the Trojans turned to Dillon Moritz. Miller, then, came through with a single to score McLemore.
McDonald equaled a season high with seven strikeouts while allowing five runs, all earned on seven hits.
Sam Vogel got the UALR offense started in the seventh with a base hit to left field and advanced to second on a balk. Petr Sila followed with a chopper to third, but the throw got away from Scott at first base and allowed Vogel to score and Sila to get to third. Sila came around to score on Pfeiffer’s single to left to cut the deficit to three. Tanner Rockwell continued the rally with a single up the middle to plate Pfeiffer. That’s when Steelmon stepped to the plate and hit his two-run home run to tie the game at 5-5.
Rockwell allowed a leadoff double to Eric Tate and was then called for a balk to move Tate to third. Bottger followed with a ground ball to Steelmon at first. Steelmon made the throw home but it was too high for Drew Merten to handle and Tate was able to slide in safely for the game’s winning run.
Pfeiffer went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest of any Trojans this year and the longest since Ben Crumpton’s 14-game streak last season.
The Trojans and Mavericks will be back at Gary Hogan Field tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. for the second game of the series before finishin the series on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.