UT Arlington put together two big innings and received staunch relief pitching to beat Western Kentucky 5-3 and complete a sweep in Sun Belt Conference baseball on Sunday.
The Mavericks (27-25) won for the 11th time in 13 games and improved their league record to 15-6 after a 1-5 start.
They are tied with Texas State for third place.
“It was a good weekend for us,” coach Darin Thomas said. “We’re playing good at the right time of the year. We have a chance at moving up in the seeding a little bit.”
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UTA took a 3-0 lead in the third inning.
Eric Tate, Travis Sibley and Derek Miller had consecutive singles. An error on Miller’s hit brought in a run. Ryan Bottger grounded out, bringing in another run. JM Twichell knocked in the third run with a sacrifice fly.
After the Hilltoppers tied it with three runs in the seventh, UTA scored twice in the eighth.
Darien McLemore walked, Tate was hit by a pitch, and Miller and Bottger followed with run-scoring singles.
Starting pitcher Zach Thompson had smooth sailing until running into trouble in the seventh. Keegan Hucul and Chad Nack pitched the eighth and ninth, respectively, to preserve the victory.
“Everybody on the mound did a good job,” Thomas said. “We didn’t walk anybody. We got some timely hits when we needed them. We played outstanding defense, especially in the infield.”
Miller led the Mavericks with four hits. Tate had two hits and Bottger had two RBIs.