Call it a mother’s intuition.
The mom of UT Tyler Patriots senior outfielder David Ring flew in from San Diego on Thursday to watch her son play for the first time at UT Tyler.
The timing couldn’t have been better, as Ring went 4 for 4 with three RBIs in the Patriots’ 6-3 win over UT Dallas on Friday night at Irwin Field.
“I just wanted to do well while she was here,” Ring said. “I’m just real happy that she got to see me play and that I really did well. She’s here for the weekend, so I’m hoping to come out (today) too and do well.”
Ring, batting in the No. 9 spot, delivered RBIs in each of his first three at-bats, singling in the second and fourth inning and doubling home a run in the sixth before finishing his night with an infield hit in the eighth.
“We’ve got more than nine good hitters,” UT Tyler coach Paul Wyczawski said. “…It makes it hard picking a lineup some nights, but we’re building depth. A lot of guys have played during the course of the season. We’re happy with the production we’re getting so far.”
Sophomore right-hander Jack Barkley (6-0), a native of Athens, stayed perfect on the mound. He allowed three runs and 10 hits in six innings.
“I thought that was typical Jack,” Wyczawski said. “He located well and he’s really good when he gets ahead early in the count. He just throws strikes and he hits his spots. And when he does that, he’s successful.”
Brian Shore worked two scoreless innings before Tyler native and ex-Robert E. Lee High School standout Derek Miller shut the door in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.
“If we can get to Miller at the end of the game, he’s really taken to that role in the last three weeks,” Wyczawski said. “Brian Shore threw really well earlier in the week in a practice environment. He’s got great stuff and, if he can come in and pitch like that the rest of the way, we’re going to be really happy for him.”
The Patriots (15-4, 3-1 in American Southwest Conference) enacted a measure of revenge on UT Dallas (12-9, 3-1) starting pitcher Derek Dallas (3-3), who tossed a complete-game shutout against UT Tyler last season.
Dallas lasted just five innings this time, giving up six runs (five earned) on nine hits. The bulky right-hander, who came into Friday’s game averaging almost a strikeout per inning, failed to retire a Patriots hitter on strikes.
“Last year, he just really dominated us,” Wyczawski said. “He would’ve dominated anybody in our conference last year and then some. Tonight, we just had some guys stick their nose in there and we got some big clutch hits. I didn’t think he was bad by any means … I just think we came through in some clutch situations.”
Added Ring: “I think we came back with a vengeance this year. We’re still kind of upset because he got us pretty good last year. We had something to prove and I think we did that today.”
The Comets drew first blood on Jacob Price’s RBI single in the top of the second, but the lead was short-lived as UT Tyler scored twice in the bottom half of the inning on back-to-back RBI single by Ring and Aaron McCain.
Another Ring RBI in the fourth and Garrett Machacek’s run-scoring single in the fifth built UT Tyler’s lead to 4-1 before the Comets cut the lead to a run in the sixth on back-to-back singles by Micah Easterling and Zak Anderson.
Ring and McCain helped the Patriots push their lead back to two runs by teaming up for consecutive RBI singles in the bottom of the sixth.
“It’s always a big win, especially on Friday nights when they got the two aces going head-to-head,” Ring said. “It’s always real important to come out strong, especially against Derek Dallas, who’s got a good reputation.”
The three-game series concludes with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. today.
No. 16 UT Tyler 6, UT Dallas 3
At Irwin Field
UT Dallas 010 002 000 — 3 12 2
UT Tyler 020 112 00x — 612 1
Derek Dallas, Zach Dickson (6), Tyler Dauer (8) and Micah Easterling; Jack Barkley, Brian Shore (7), Derek Miller (9) and Hayden Chick.
W – Barkley (6-0). L – Dallas (3-3). S – Miller (5).
2B – UTD: Easterling. UTT: Issac Tijerina, David Ring.
SH – UTD: Easterling. UTT: Tijerina (2), T.J. Martin.
RECORDS — UT Dallas 12-9 (3-1); UT Tyler 16-4 (3-1).
NEXT UP — UT Dallas at UT Tyler (DH), 1 p.m. today.
ATT. — 537.