UT Arlington just can’t close out a rally at Globe Life Park.
For the second time in eight days, the Mavericks failed to turn a ninth-inning rally into a win in a 3-2 loss to Oklahoma in front of 1,858 fans Tuesday night.
Unlike last Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to Texas A&M in which they simply fell short by a run, the Mavericks actually tied the Sooners in the ninth on a clutch RBI double from Darien McLemore. But with the bases loaded and two outs, Matt Shortall grounded out to send the game into extra innings.
The Sooners only needed one batter to regain their lead when Taylor Alspaugh belted a no-doubt-about-it home run to right field.
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The Mavericks (5-11) threatened again in the bottom of the tenth, but McLemore’s own shot to right field fell short to end the game.
“That’s the story of our season right there,” coach Darin Thomas said after the game. “We’re one hit away once again.”
The loss drops the Mavericks to 3-9 as the home team and 5-11 overall heading into Sun Belt Conference play. They’re also 0-3 at the Texas Rangers’ renamed Globe Life Park, having lost a one-run game to TCU last season.
McLemore, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, said it doesn’t matter what UTA’s record is heading into the conference season.
“Nothing up to this point matters,” McLemore said. “We’re all entering conference play 0-0. That’s where our focus is.”
Oklahoma (12-5) jumped out to a lead in the first inning, piecing together a double and single to go ahead. The Mavericks tied it in the fourth without even recording a hit. A hit-by-pitch and two walks loaded the bases before John Michael Twichell delivered a sacrifice fly to bring home a runner.
The Mavericks couldn’t get anything going against Kindle Ladd, who replaced Connor Buchmann in the fourth inning. Ladd pitched five shutout innings to carry Oklahoma to the ninth.
UTA turns its attention to this weekend’s series with Texas State.