ARLINGTON, Texas - Michael Guerra's two-run home run in the seventh inning Sunday afternoon lifted Texas-Arlington past Northwestern State 8-6 to complete a three-game sweep over the Demons in Southland Conference baseball action.
Demon reliever Mason Melotakis walked Preston Beck and then gave up a long ball to Guerra that broke a 6-6 tie and made the difference for the Mavericks (26-14, 13-8 SLC), giving them 10 wins in their last 12 league games. NSU had the go-ahead run at the plate in the ninth inning with two out but failed to score.
Northwestern, losing its sixth straight game, dropped to 14-23 overall and 10-11 in conference play, and has lost eight of its last nine SLC games.
UTA jumped on top early, getting a three-run homer in the first inning for the second straight game, but the Demons answered with six runs in the third for a 6-3 advantage. The Mavericks tied it in the fourth.
Melotakis (2-3) pitched four innings, allowing two hits and two walks. UTA reliever Adam Boyston (1-1) did not give up a hit and walked one in two innings.
In the first inning, UTA shortstop Ryan Walker led off with a single followed by a double from Derek Miller and a three-run homer from Beck. It was the first home run that Demon starter Joe Scanio has allowed this season. Scanio threw three innings and surrendered six runs on five hits, two walks, and two strikeouts.
Demon second baseman Matt Burns opened the third inning with a single, and was moved to second after a Mitch Huckabay walk. Drew Helenihi advanced both runners on a sacrifice bunt.
Will Watson was hit by a pitch from UTA starter Collin Reynolds, and back-to-back errors allowed Colin Bear and Nick Hinojos to reach and scored Burns and Huckabay. After a Matt Farmer groundout, Ryan Westbrook doubled off the left field wall to score Watson and Bear, and Hinojos scored on a single from designated hitter Todd Wallace. Only the run scored by Burns was ruled as earned.
Jake Pinchback was walked by Scanio to lead off the fourth and scored after an error from Burns at second and a single from Brent Bollinger. Two more Mavs runs followed on a groundout from Ryan Walker and single by Derek Miller.
In the series, NSU only scored in three innings, getting one run in the ninth inning of the first game, four in the sixth in the second game, and six runs in the third inning Sunday. Only three of the 11 runs scored by the Demons were earned.
Northwestern fell into a sixth-place tie in the conference standings with Central Arkansas. Sam Houston leads the way followed by Southeastern Louisiana and UTA in a tie for second. McNeese and Texas State are knotted in the fourth spot.
The Demons will travel to Tulane Tuesday and the return to Brown-Stroud Field Wednesday for Louisiana-Monroe at 6:30 p.m. before facing SLU next weekend.