The baseball team (5-4) wrapped up the 2019 UTA Classic with a pair of close losses on Sunday at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The Mavericks won the first two games of their tournament schedule on Friday and Saturday but were unable to keep the momentum going into Sunday.
“It wasn’t our day, it was one of those days where we just didn’t play as clean and crisp as we could have,” assistant coach Fuller Smith said.
UTA pitchers struggled the last day of the tournament. The Mavericks allowed 19 runs on Sunday, 16 earned.
A four-run sixth inning was UTA’s undoing in game one against Wichita State University, which the Mavericks defeated on Saturday. The Shockers won the rematch by a score of 8-6.
Game two turned into a back-and-forth battle that culminated in a ninth inning play at the plate that almost drew an emptying of the dugouts.
The Mavericks trailed Stephen F. Austin State University by a score of 9-6 before a UTA desperation rally in the ninth inning tied the game.
A line drive single into left field by junior outfielder David Renning sent what would have been the game-winning run to home plate, but a strong throw from the Stephen F. Austin left fielder nailed the UTA runner at home.
The close play resulted in a collision between Stephen F. Austin junior catcher Skylar Black and UTA pinch-runner Phillip Childs, and the coaches and umpires stepped in to keep the two benches from coming together.
The game moved into extra innings, where the Lumberjacks would add two runs and ultimately close out the Mavericks by a score of 11-9.
Despite the loss, it was the second time in the tournament UTA stormed back from a ninth inning deficit. The team posted four runs in the bottom of the ninth in Friday’s walk-off win.
“These guys competed and they fought, I saw a lot of heart from these guys,” Smith said. “I’m proud of them. We got a ways to go, though. We got some things we gotta work on, but we fought to the bitter end in both games.”
The Mavericks will now partake in a road swing that sees them play their next nine games away from Clay Gould Ballpark.
The busy early schedule continues at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday with a game against Abilene Christian University in Abilene.