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Date Posted: Sat, March 12 2005, 18:44:23
Author: 91
Subject: Another good pitching performance wasted

We really need to find a successor to Hunter Pence or Ryan Roberts soon...Batlle can't do it by himself

ARLINGTON, Texas - The University of Illinois took advantage of a Texas-Arlington miscue in the sixth inning to plate two runs to take the lead for good in defeating the Mavs 4-2 Saturday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark.

Trailing by three runs heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, UTA had a chance to make some noise as Josh McSpadden and Nathan Warrick drew back-to-back walks and advanced into scoring position on a balk. After a strikeout, Aaron Batlle drove in one run with a sacrifice fly into right center field. Brett Lewis followed as a pinch hitter and ripped a ball to third that was knocked down by Chad Frk and he picked it up and threw Lewis out by a step to end the rally.

The Illini (4-3-1) got on the board in the fourth inning as Chad Frk and Mike Rohde hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. The run came in to score as the Mavs turned a 4-6-3 double play.

The Mavs (9-9) tied the game up in the fifth inning as Daniel Macha started things with a single into the hole at short and advanced to second on a Ryan Nelson walk. With one out, Kyle Thomason drove in Macha with a double passed the bag at third.

Ill regained the lead in the sixth inning as Dusty Bensko started things with a single to left field and Frk reached on a fielding error. Shawn Roof drove in the first unearned run on a single to right field and Toby Gardenhire followed with a run-producing single up the middle.

The Illini played small ball in the eighth inning to push their fourth run across as Frk started things with a single to right center before a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch put him at third base. Roof plated Frk with a perfectly executed suicide squeeze.

Macha and Newman led the offense with two hits apiece. Bensko, Frk and Rohde each had two hits for the Illini.

Grant Varnell (2-1) took the loss as he allowed three runs, one earned, on nine hits in six innings of work. Jimmy Conroy (2-0) earned the victory as he allowed two runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. Jake Toohey earned his first save of the season he allowed one hit and fanned two in two innings of work.

The Mavs and Illini close out the three-game series tomorrow afternoon with a 1 p.m. matinee at Clay Gould Ballpark.

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