A limited number of guests covered in blankets and winter gear witnessed the baseball team (1-2) fall to Stephen F. Austin State University 5-2 in the Mavericks’ home opener at Clay Gould Ballpark on Friday night.
The game was at a stalemate for the first two and a half innings, with both teams being held scoreless.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the third inning that the Mavericks put up the first run, when junior infielder Boone Montgomery scored from third base on a wild pitch, giving UTA an early 1-0 lead.
After pitching five scoreless innings, junior pitcher Carlos Tavera was relieved, and the bullpen was given the task of closing the game.
The Mavericks gave up the lead in the top of the sixth, allowing four runs, including a three-run home run by the Lumberjacks junior infielder Chaney Dodge.
After a scoreless seventh inning, the Mavericks had an opportunity to tack on some runs with two outs and the bases loaded, with senior outfielder Anthony Dominguez at the plate as a pinch hitter.
A wild pitch by the Lumberjacks allowed senior infielder Wyatt Divis to score, cutting the lead down to 4-2. Dominguez then flew out to center field, ending the Mavericks’ eighth-inning rally.
The Lumberjacks added on an insurance run in the top of the ninth, extending their lead 5-2.
The Mavericks did not go out easily, loading the bases for senior infielder Dylan Paul in the bottom of the ninth. Paul flew out to right field, ending the Mavericks’ night.
Tavera finished the night with fiving innings pitched, striking out a career-high 12 batters, allowing one hit and walking three.
Head coach Darin Thomas was not surprised by Tavera’s performance, saying the game was reminiscent of the loss to the University of Oklahoma suffered on Wednesday.
“That’s him, that’s what we thought we’d get out of him, we just didn’t score,” Thomas said. “We've got to take a little pressure off our pitching staff.”
UTA will continue their series versus the Lumberjacks in a double-header at 2 p.m. Saturday at Clay Gould Ballpark.