UT Arlington couldn’t rally from a five-run deficit on the opening day of the UTA Hilton Invitational, as Utah held off the Mavericks 5-3 Friday at Clay Gould Ballpark.
It was the third straight defeat for the Mavericks (3-9). Utah (6-6) ended a three-game losing streak.
UTA is scheduled to face Missouri State at 3 p.m. Saturday in the second round.
For the second consecutive game, UTA trailed by five runs and was unable to finish off a comeback. On Tuesday, the Mavericks trailed by five runs and eventually lost to Texas A&M 5-4.
“I hate losing,” UTA coach Darin Thomas said. “We are finding ways to lose. We are doing just enough wrong things, not a ton of them, but enough things that we are losing. It is always a big inning.”
UTA trailed 5-0 after five innings before breaking up the shutout with two runs in the sixth. Darien McLemore led off the inning with a four-pitch walk, and Matt Shortall tripled off the wall in center to knock in McLemore. Shortall came home on Greg McCall’s infield single to pull UTA within 5-2.
n the seventh inning, Shortall singled to right, scoring Peter Cuomo to cut Utah’s lead to 5-3. In the ninth, Shortall flew out to deep center field, a few feet short of tying the game.
Jess Amedee (1-2) took the loss for UTA.