The baseball team (17-10, 5-2) defeated the University of South Alabama on Friday at Clay Gould Ballpark in the first of three games against the Sun Belt Conference foe.
The Mavericks were able to shake off a slow offensive night in a loss on Wednesday and post a 6-3 victory over the Jaguars.
“We had a day off, and we knew it was gonna be a big series,” head coach Darin Thomas said. “We got a good start on the mound, we got the lead, all the ingredients were there to win.”
The Mavericks jumped out to a five-run lead in the third inning and South Alabama never recovered. They were able to scrape together a ninth inning rally to cut the Mavericks’ lead to three and bring the tying run to the plate, but senior pitcher Andrew Gross entered the game and put out the fire for his NCAA-leading eleventh save.
The Mavericks were led offensively by junior designated hitter Anthony Dominguez and senior catcher Will Olson.
Olson went 2-4 with a walk and a run scored, while Dominguez went 3-3 with a walk and three RBIs.
“Their starting pitcher fell behind multiple counts early, and we really took advantage,” Dominguez said. “Just waiting on it, waiting him out and only swinging at strikes.”
The lack of strikes from the Jaguars’ pitching drew a hefty argument about the strike zone between Mark Calvi, South Alabama head coach, and home plate umpire Marcus Pattillo. Calvi was ejected in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Freshman pitcher Cade Winquest took the mound for the Mavericks in what was the fourth start of his collegiate career. Winquest remained undefeated with the win, improving his record to 4-0 and lowering his ERA to 2.70. He allowed a run in 5 ⅓ innings and struck out eight, a personal best for the righty.
“He’s just so dominant when he gets ahead [in the count], nobody can touch him,” Dominguez said of his teammate.
The Mavericks’ Sun Belt record now stands at 5-2, keeping pace with West Division foes Arkansas State University and Texas State University, who each won on Friday night. UTA trails Arkansas State by a game and is tied for second with Texas State.
UTA continues their weekend Sun Belt series against South Alabama at 2 p.m. Saturday at Clay Gould Ballpark.
“We’re playing South Alabama, and it’s a quality program,” Thomas said. “We got a chance to win the series if we can win one of the next two, hopefully we come out and play good tomorrow.”