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Baseball wins home opener 5-2

Feb. 7, 2001

Bears defeat UTA in balanced game at the Ballpark


Sports writer

The Baylor baseball team sent a crowd of 2,371 home happy as the No. 21-ranked Bears defeated the University of Texas-Arlington 5-2 in the home opener at the Baylor Ballpark.

Baylor moved to 3-1 on the year, while UTA, which was off to the best start since 1982, fell to 4-1.

Justin Taylor threw 3 1/3 innings of shutout relief to get the win and even his record at 1-1. Zane Carlson retired all five batters he faced to earn his first save of the season. Dave Engelson started for the Mavericks and took the loss, dropping to 0-1.

The scoring began in the bottom of the third, as Baylor right fielder Steve Dorneman led off the inning with a perfect bunt down the third-base line. Center fielder Chris Durbin and second baseman Trevor Mote followed with singles, the latter scoring Dorneman to make it 1-0. Durbin and Mote would both score later that inning to give starter Josh Scott a 3-0 cushion.

'We knew they were good,' Carlson said. 'We were ready for them.'

The Mavericks came back with a pair of runs in the fourth. Scott struck out the first batter of the inning, but then issued consecutive walks to second baseman Craig Martin and designated hitter Brandon Watson. Those walks came back to haunt Scott two batters later, as catcher Joel Alvarado blooped a two-run single to shallow left-center field. That, however, was all Arlington would get.

Baylor shortstop Mark Saccomanno was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom half of the fourth, and scored when UTA pitcher Pierce Loveless was called for a balk. In the fifth, third baseman Mark Williams tripled to the base of the wall in right field on the first pitch, and came home on catcher Kelly Shoppach's RBI single.

'I've been working hard on that,' Williams said of going to the opposite field. 'I have spurts where I'll do that.'

Arlington's best chance to score came in the top of the eighth. Taylor surrendered a lead-off single to Watson, who was replaced by first baseman Jesus Morillo after a fielder's choice. Baylor head Coach Steve Smith brought in Carlson from the bullpen, and he quickly went to work.

His first pitch resulted in a fielder's choice groundout and his second was a groundout that Saccomanno handled himself to end the threat.

'I just wanted to throw strikes and get outs as easy as possible,' Carlson said.

In the ninth, UTA never had a chance. Carlson retired the side on eight pitches, all strikes, and ended the game in style with a strikeout of center fielder Dan Ortmeier.

'I don't expect any less from Zane,' Williams said.

Baylor will stay in Waco this weekend, hosting No. 18-ranked Cal State-Fullerton for a three-game series starting at 7 p.m. Friday.

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