Mavs snap five-game losing streak, beat Baylor

Sophomore infielder RJ Williams bats the ball. UTA won 6-3 at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Clay Gould Ballpark.

The baseball team came out swinging behind solid pitching to take the 6-3 win against Baylor on Tuesday at Clay Gould Ballpark, snapping a five-game losing streak. 

The Mavericks posted runs in each of the first three innings and took a 6-0 lead before the Bears tallied their first base hit. The home win completes the season sweep of Baylor.

The Mavs struck first in the bottom of the first inning after senior center fielder Matt McLean walked and freshman left fielder Noah Vaughan hit a double to put runners at second and third base. Two batters later, Mavs third baseman RJ Williams hit an RBI groundout to bring McLean home for the first run.

Head coach Darin Thomas said he was glad to be on the right side of early offensive success this time around.

“The games we’ve lost lately, we’ve given up a big inning early and we couldn’t get behind tonight,” Thomas said. “We got the lead and just hung on.”

Sophomore pitcher Reid Petty and freshman pitcher Dylan Schneider, combined for five innings of one-hit, shutout baseball.

“I was just trying to get ahead in the counts, working that first pitch strike then work in my off-speed and roll with that,” Schneider said.

Petty was pulled with two outs in the second inning after putting two baserunners on with walks. He gave way to Schneider who came on and got the final out of the inning. Thomas said the pitching change was as much cautionary as it was trying to protect the lead.

“He’s [Petty] coming off an injury and the biggest thing is throwing strikes,” Thomas said. “That’s what’s getting us in trouble is we’re giving up two, three, six runs early and we had plenty of guys ready. We were only planning on getting two [innings] from him anyway. It’s kind of a feel thing for him. We just wanted to get him out there for a couple.”

The Mavs wasted no time extending the one-run lead in the second after senior second baseman Darien McLemore drew a lead-off walk followed by a fielding error at third that allowed junior right fielder Caleb Koedyker to reach base. This set the table for freshman shortstop Josh Minjarez to clear the bases with a two-RBI triple blasted into the right centerfield gap.

Vaughan hit Minjarez home later in the inning with an RBI single to right field to give the Mavs a 4-0 lead heading into the third inning.

Vaughan extended his hitting streak to five games with eight hits and three RBIs in that span.

“I’m just getting in a groove,” Vaughan said. “I’m just trying to keep it simple, not do too much. Whenever you’re rolling in this game, you’ve got to stick with what you’re doing and build off of it.”

The Mavs added two more in the third with a two RBI single off the junior first baseman Jerame Littell and that was all they needed. Baylor tried to crawl their way back in scoring three runs between the fifth and ninth innings.

Sophomore pitcher Daniel James came on in the ninth to get the save giving up one earned run in one inning pitched with one hit and one strikeout.

Up next for the Mavs is that three-game series with Incarnate Word beginning Thursday at Clay Gould Ballpark.

@kenneykost.

sports-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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