The baseball team (4-2) owns a three-game win streak after senior infielder Dylan Paul hit a solo walk-off home run to defeat Abilene Christian University 3-2 in 12 innings at Clay Gould Ballpark on Tuesday night.
“He was attacking with the fastball, and I knew I was gonna get one,” Paul said. “It was just good to put a good swing on it. It was nice to go home.”
After a scoreless top of the first inning, UTA had the chance to strike first with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first with no outs. The Wildcats’ pitching came together to get three straight outs to escape the inning unscathed.
The scoring started with senior outfielder Connor Aube driving in one run off a single to left field, giving UTA a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.
Sophomore pitcher Cade Winquest continued to shutout the Wildcats heading to the bottom of the third inning. UTA extended the lead, going up 2-0 after senior outfielder Andrew Miller scored on a fielder's choice.
Both teams were held scoreless in the fourth inning with UTA leading by two runs.
The shutout ended when Abilene Christian’s freshman infielder Cal Strandt drove in a run off a single to right field to cut the UTA lead down to 2-1 in the top of the fifth inning.
The Wildcats struck again in the top of the seventh inning when freshman infielder Brett Hammit scored from second base off an error by UTA, tying the game at 2-all.
Pitching continued to dominate the game as both teams were held scoreless in the eighth and ninth inning.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the 12th inning when the leadoff man, Paul, hit a solo walk-off home run to right field, giving the Mavericks a 3-2 victory.
“Got a good win. We should’ve won a long time ago, but it was just a good moment. It was fun,” Paul said.
Overall, UTA scored three runs on seven hits but had several opportunities to put the game away early. The Mavericks loaded the bases on multiple occasions but only scored one run despite stranding 14 baserunners.
“We squandered a lot of opportunities. It just seemed like we weren’t gonna get it done and hung in there,” head coach Darin Thomas said. “Part of it is our approach can be better, and part of it is, they can pitch.”
The baseball team will be back in action against the University of Texas-San Antonio starting at 6 p.m. Friday at Roadrunner Field for the first game of a four-game series.