ARLINGTON, Texas – In a speedy one-hour, 58-minute pitchers' duel, Little Rock baseball (13-21, 5-8 Sun Belt) took a 2-0 loss to UT Arlington (18-16, 9-4 Sun Belt) on Thursday night at Clay Gould Ballpark.
Nik Gifford, Zach Baker and Dalton Thomas came up with the Trojans' three hits for the night. Gifford advanced his reached-base streak to 11 games while Thomas moved his hitting streak to nine games and reached-base streak to 10 games.
The Mavericks' Quintin Rohrbaugh was a perfect 3 for 3 with an RBI, a run and a triple. Also coming up with a multiple-hit night was Will Olson as he went 2 for 4 with a run.
Trojan starter Cory Malcom (2-3) took the loss as he went 7.1 innings, struck out six and allowed two runs on nine hits. Malcom ended the night with 233 strikeouts for his career — moving to fourth all-time at Little Rock. He threw 24 first pitch strikes against the 29 UTA batters he faced. Dylan Slayton come on in relief and tallied two strikeouts with nine pitches.
The Mavs' Kadon Simmons (5-2) took the win as he went eight shutout innings, struck out five and allowed three hits. Daniel James earned his eighth save of the season with one inning of work
"It was a well-pitched ballgame on both sides," Little Rock head coach Chris Curry said. "I thought Cory did more than enough to give us a chance to win the game. Simmons was outstanding as well, and when you have two guys throwing the ball really well like Malcom and Simmons, you're only going to get one to two chances to score."
The game started with 5.5 scoreless innings before UTA got on the board with two runs on four hits. Brady Cox got the inning started with a leadoff single before tagging up and advancing to second on a fly out. Will Olson singled up the middle, but Hunter Owens threw Cox out at the plate with a strong throw from center field. With two outs and a runner on first, Quintin Rohrbaugh hit an RBI triple to right to plate the game's first run. An RBI single by Noah Vaughan scored Rohrbaugh and gave the Mavericks a 2-0 lead.
Like the start of the game, there was nothing but zeroes put up after UTA's two-run inning as Little Rock tallied just one hit from that point on.
"We have to get back after it like last weekend after we lost on Friday and turn the momentum around in our dugout," Curry added.
Little Rock will look to even the series against UT Arlington on Friday at 6:30 p.m.