With the way UT Arlington has been pitching on weekends, it could use a few more nights like Tuesday night.
The Mavericks pounded out 14 hits and got the best pitching performance of the year en route to their biggest win of the year, a start-to-finish 14-3 victory over Baylor at Clay Gould Ballpark.
It didn’t matter who was on the mound for Baylor; the Mavericks (9-16, 1-5 SBC) sprayed line drives all over the yard and capitalized on three errors to improve to 5-3 in midweek contests.
“You don’t get many of these, but I’ll give our guys credit. That was a tough loss on Sunday and when you’ve got a good opponent like Baylor, it’s tough,” coach Darin Thomas said.
Ryan Bottger embodied just how hot UTA’s lineup carried over from the weekend. After going 4 for 4 on Sunday, Bottger belted an RBI double down the right-field line to open a four-run first inning. He then added another RBI single in the fourth and finished 3 for 5, bringing his average up to .351 despite sitting at .250 one week ago.
Matt Shortall added three hits and Greg McCall belted his fifth homer of the season in the third.
“We’re starting to feel confident that we’re going to score a lot of runs,” Shortall said. “We’re a physical team, we’re aggressive and it’s going to pay off for us in the long run.”
Even more encouraging was the emergence of Daniel Milliman.
Although the Bears (13-11, 4-2 Big 12) entered hitting .233 — last in the Big 12 — Milliman made a strong case to break into the conference rotation Tuesday night. The Fort Worth Southwest product retired the first 10 hitters and delivered a two-hit performance that earned him an early exit after just four innings and an 8-1 lead.
He gave up both hits and a walk in the fourth inning, but with two runners on, he notched an inning-ending strikeout.
As the UTA weekend rotation struggles with a combined 5.64 ERA, Milliman’s 9 1/3 consecutive shutout innings look intriguing.
“We’re looking for one more guy,” Thomas said. “And Daniel’s the obvious choice.”