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UTA Announces 2000's Baseball All-Decade Team

Mike Snapp owns SLC records with 131 appearances and 23 saves
 
Mike Snapp owns SLC records with 131 appearances and 23 saves
 

Jan. 21, 2010

ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington announced its Baseball 2000's All-Decade team, which was selected by the UTA office of sports information. The All-Decade team is comprised of Maverick players that played during the 2000-2009 seasons, while taking into consideration on-field performance, statistics, and career and single-season records along with awards, honors and recognitions.

The 2000's decade for UTA baseball included 285 wins, two NCAA Regional appearances, two Southland Conference Tournament championships and five former players who have since made their debut in a Major League uniform.

The 2001 team had the most wins during the decade (39) and claimed the program's first-ever victory in the NCAA Tournament with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning by All-Decade second baseman Craig Martin over Houston. That 2001 team has seven representatives on the UTA All-Decade team, tying for the most representatives by any team in the decade, as the 2002 team is also represented by seven players.

Every UTA team in the decade has at least one player who was named to the list, but only 15 total players make up the UT Arlington All-Decade team.

Catcher: Adam Moore (2006) - .350 - 65 starts, 54 runs, 89 hits, 22 2B, 10 HR, 50 RBI
Despite only one year in the program, Moore left his mark while leading the Mavericks to the 2006 SLC Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. A sixth-round draft choice by the Seattle Mariners following the 2006 campaign, Moore was a first team All-SLC selection, SLC All-Tournament team pick and named conference newcomer of the year while leading UTA in batting (.350), hits (89), runs (54), doubles (22), home runs (10) and RBI (50). His 65 games played/games started are tied for the most in UTA history and he was one of only four UTA players to belt double-figure home runs in the decade (Ryan Roberts, twice, Daniel Ortmeier, Michael Choice). He received seven intentional walks and was hit by pitch 13 times during the 2006 season, both of which set new school records at the time. Moore became the ninth former Maverick to make his Major League debut with a start behind the plate for the Mariners on Sept. 17, 2009.

First Base: Darrell Preston (2001-2004) - 230 games, 856 at-bats, 268 hits, 58 2B, 166 RBI
Darrell Preston, the program's first ever Freshman All-American, owns all-time school records for career games played (230), at-bats (856) - also a conference record - base hits (268) and RBI (166) while ranking in seven UTA career top-10 record books. After batting .278 with four home runs and a team-high 45 RBI and earning Baseball America Freshman All-American honors in 2001, Preston recorded three straight seasons with over a .300 batting average including a senior campaign that saw him hit .362 with three homers and 31 RBI. He was a first team All-SLC selection in 2004 and earned honorable mention status the previous season. In his career, Preston was a part of 137 victories (34 wins/season), which is tied for the most wins during any four-year span in UTA history (137 wins from 1990-1993).

Second Base: Craig Martin (2000-2001) - 118 games, 130 hits, 88 runs, 35 2B, 13 HR
Craig Martin will go down as one of the greatest four-year letterwinners in UTA history, but he only gets credit for two of his outstanding years on this list. Martin played in 118 games and recorded 130 hits with 35 doubles and 13 homers to start the decade. Perhaps the biggest hit in school history came off Martin's bat in the ninth inning against Houston in the 2001 NCAA Tournament when Martin launched a walk-off, solo home run to give UTA its first and only NCAA post-season victory with a 7-6 win over the Cougars in the Houston Regional at Reckling Park. Martin remains the school's all-time doubles (60) and total bases (417) leader while ranking in 10 career top-10 record books. Martin is also second in base hits (248), second in home runs (27), third in runs (167) and fourth in RBI (131) to name a few. In addition, his 13 home runs in the decade is tops among all second basemen. Martin signed a free-agent contract with the Milwaukee Brewers following his senior season in 2001.

Shortstop: K.J. Hendricks (2001-2002) - .340, 164 hits, 120 runs, 21 2B, 76 BB, 69-83 SB
The greatest shortstop in the decade is hands down K.J. Hendricks. Nicknamed "The Pest" by late UTA head coach Clay Gould, Hendricks was nothing short of a pain in the neck for opposing teams with a .340 career average to go with 120 runs, 76 walks and 69 stolen bases. He was as consistent as they come with back-to-back 82-base hit seasons and his 69 swipes are the most in the decade by far and are tops among all two-year lettermen in UTA history. In fact, his 36 and 33 stolen bases led the league in back-to-back seasons. He took home SLC Tournament MVP honors in 2001 while batting .391 (9-for-23) with three doubles and five stolen bases (one short of the SLC Tourney record). His 7-for-12 effort in the final three games of the tourney locked up the honor while helping the Mavs to their third ever NCAA Regional. He led the Mavericks batting .328 in 2001 and his 36 stolen bases are the most by a Maverick since 1982 (Roger Piacenti, 36). He was a two-time All-SLC selection, earning first team in 2002 and second team honors in 2001. He was drafted and signed by the Colorado Rockies in the 26th round of the 2002 MLB Draft. In addition, in 2005, Hendricks was named the "Fastest Base Runner" in the Colorado Rockies farm system by Baseball America. Hendricks rejoined the UTA program in 2008 as a volunteer coach and recently was named an assistant coach.

Third Base: Ryan Roberts (2002-2003) - .393, 26 HR, 129 RBI, 42 2B, .695 SLG
Many would argue the greatest hitter to ever wear a UTA uniform is All-Decade third baseman Ryan Roberts. He capped his UTA career with a season for the ages batting .422 with 16 home runs - most by a UTA player in a season during the decade - and a school-record 69 RBI in 2003. That led to Roberts becoming the second All-American in UTA history after earning honors from four publications. Roberts was the 2003 SLC Hitter and Player of the Year and was named 2002 SLC Newcomer of the Year. He was a two-time All-SLC pick and was tabbed ABCA first team All-Region in 2003. He led the SLC in batting (.422) and home runs (16) and his 69 RBI were two shy of giving him the SLC Triple Crown, although his 97 base hits were also the most in the league. He was tabbed SLC All-Tournament team after ending his UTA career batting .500 (11-for-22) with seven runs, four doubles, two home runs and seven RBI in six SLC Tournament games. During a three-game stretch in the tourney, Roberts went 9-for-11 with four extra-base hits. He currently owns or is tied for six single-season UTA records and his name appears in a total of 19 single-season or career top-10 school record books. Roberts will begin his fifth Major League season in 2010 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, after playing in 110 games primarily as the D-Backs starting second baseman in 2009.

Outfield: Michael Choice (2008-2009) - .396, 18 HR, 103 RBI
Michael Choice is the only active player on the All-Decade team, but after starting his career with the best freshman and sophomore years combined he was a no-brainer to make the list joining an outfield that boast two Major Leaguers. Choice became the first player in UTA history (only the second ever in the SLC) to play for the USA Baseball National Team during the 2009 summer. He joined the nation's elite in fashion batting .350 with three home runs and 13 RBI while being named to the World Baseball Challenge All-Tournament team and helping Team USA win the championship. Choice set a UTA freshman record with a .376 batting average in 2008, and he didn't stop there as he collected the team Triple Crown with seven homers and 51 RBI en route to being named SLC Freshman of the Year. He was named to five Freshman All-American teams and proved his abilities batting .462 (12-for-26) in six games against Big 12 opponents. He was named first team All-SLC and second team ABCA South Central All-Region as a sophomore in 2009 after batting .413 - fifth best in school history - and leading the team with 11 home runs and 64 runs scored. He has finished in the top five in the SLC in batting during both seasons and he enters his junior season as the all-time career batting leader in UTA history with a .396 batting average.

Outfield: Hunter Pence (2003-2004) - .371, 23 2B, 11 3B, 16 HR, 77 RBI
Hunter Pence was the 2004 Southland Conference Player and Hitter of the Year after leading the conference with a .395 batting average. Pence, a two-time first team All-SLC pick, ranks fifth on the UTA career list in batting (.371) and sixth in slugging (.585) while ranking in six top-10 single-season categories. He began his career at UTA in 2003 batting .347 with 83 hits, 15 doubles, six triples, eight home runs and 42 RBI. The Mavericks won 37 games in 2003 and finished the season in the championship game of the SLC Tournament. In 2004, Pence helped guide the Mavs to wins over nationally-ranked Oklahoma (5-4 & 18-12) and Texas A&M (5-4) while leading the league in hitting. In addition, Pence became the first UTA player to ever receive the SABR Metroplex Collegiate Player of the Year. Following his junior campaign, Pence became the highest drafted UTA player as the Houston Astros drafted Pence with the 64th overall pick in the second round of the MLB Draft. This past season Pence became the second UTA player to ever be selected to the MLB All-Star Game as a National League reserve outfielder.

Outfield: Daniel Ortmeier (2000-2002) - .308, 32 2B, 13 3B, 20 HR, 130 RBI, 46 SB
Daniel Ortmeier closed his career with the Mavericks with a memorable season batting .339 with 10 doubles, seven triples, 14 home runs and 66 RBI. His 14 home runs led the Southland Conference and were the second most by a UTA player during the decade. In 2001, Ortmeier helped lead the Mavs to the SLC Tournament championship batting .322 with 17 doubles, four home runs and 37 RBI with 15 stolen bases. Ortmeier was twice selected first team All-SLC (2001 & 2002) and he also led the SLC in triples with seven in 2002. Ortmeier remains in six single-season and seven career UTA top-10 statistical record books. In addition, Ortmeier is the only UTA player to rank in both the top 10 career record books in home runs (20 - T-8th) and stolen bases (46 - 10th). Following his junior season, Ortmeier was drafted in the third round of the 2002 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants. He made his big-league debut with the Giants on Sept. 5, 2005, and spent the 2009 season with the Colorado Rockies Triple-A farm team.

DH: Andrew Kainer (2008-2009) - .373, 121 Hits, 34 2B, 8 HR, 72 RBI
Andrew Kainer's 2009 season was one of the best by a player in school history. Kainer will most be remembered for his school and conference record-breaking hit streak that reached 36 games. Starting the streak on March 7, Kainer went two months without going hitless in a game as the streak was ended on May 9. The previous UTA hit streak record was 26 games, which was set by the late Clay Gould in 1993 and was matched earlier in the 2009 season by teammate Matt Otteman. Kainer batted .455 (66-for-145) with 29 runs, 19 doubles, three home runs, 35 RBI, nine walks and 13 stolen bases during the streak. In fact, Kainer hit safely in 48-of-53 games played during the season. The streak wasn't the only thing Kainer accomplished during his senior season as he broke the school record for doubles (23) and tallied the fourth best batting average (.417) in school history. In addition, Kainer ranks third on the UTA all-time career batting list (.373). Kainer received first team All-SLC honors and was named first team ABCA South Central All-Region following his senior season. Kainer signed a free-agent contract with the Florida Marlins following the season as a left-handed pitcher.

Utility: Matt Otteman (2008-2009) - . 345, 170 Hits, 26 2B, 10 3B, 11 HR, 113 RBI - 7-4, 80 K, 79.1 IP
Matt Otteman's .432 batting average was the highest by a hitter in the decade and he also defeated three nationally-ranked Big 12 teams on the mound during his four-year career. Otteman had a breakthrough season in 2009 hitting .432, which led the conference and ranked eighth in the NCAA. It was the third highest average in SLC history and ranks second on the all-time UTA list. He was named the 2009 Howard Green SABR Metroplex Collegiate Player of the Year, giving UTA its second selection in the awards 17-year history. He also led the conference with eight triples and he tied a UTA single-season record with 69 RBI, and his 95 hits rank second in school history. He did equal damage on the mound tallying a 3-1 record with a 3.38 ERA in 10 appearances in 2009. He struck out 38 batters in 24 innings. Otteman's 2009 statistics placed him in seven UTA single-season top-10 record books. In his career, Otteman batted .345 with 170 base hits, 26 doubles, 10 triples, 11 home runs and 113 RBI. Otteman was named first team All-SLC, second team PING! All-American and first team ABCA South Central All-Region following his senior season. Otteman signed a free-agent contract following the 2009 season with the Seattle Mariners as a right-handed pitcher.

Pitcher: Aaron Pullin (2000-2003) - 24-7, 4.07 ERA, 294.2 IP, 177 K/117 BB, .774 Win %
Aaron Pullin's winning percentage speaks for itself and his longevity places him in nine all-time career pitching record books in UTA history. His 24 career wins are the most wins by any pitcher in the decade (next closest is 16 wins) and his win total places him fourth in school history. Pullin completed his career with back-to-back eight-win campaigns. He led the Southland Conference with a 2.48 ERA going 8-1 on the mound during his junior season in 2003. He finished his UTA career going 8-2 with a career best 106.1 innings pitched with 17 starts in 2003. Pullin was a two-time second team All-SLC selection. He was named to the 2003 SLC All-Tournament team while winning the game that placed the Mavericks in the tournament championship. Pullin had impressive non-conference wins over Oral Roberts, Kansas, Dallas Baptist, Oklahoma and he earned a pair of wins against TCU in his career. Pullin signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels following the 2003 season.

Pitcher: Pierce Loveless (2000-2003) - 16-11, 3.97 ERA, 290.2 IP, 202 K/75 BB, 7 CG
Pierce Loveless is the only UTA player in the history of the program to play for three head coaches (Butch McBroom, Clay Gould, Jeff Curtis), but it is what he did on the mound which made him a lock for the All-Decade team. Loveless won 16 games in his career - second most in the decade - and recorded a 3.97 ERA with 290.2 innings with 202 strikeouts and only 75 walks allowed. Loveless had a standout season in 2001 as a sophomore, logging a 6-4 record with a 3.30 ERA and 71 strikeouts. He tied for the team lead with 15 starts and he led the Mavericks with six complete games. Loveless led the conference with 103.2 innings pitched, grabbed victories over No. 20 Texas and No. 18 Baylor while being named first team All-SLC. He helped lead the Mavs to the NCAA Tournament in 2001 where he made two appearances in the regional, including starting the game against Houston, which is the only NCAA Tournament victory in UTA history. Loveless started and left the game with the lead and earned a no-decision in UTA's victory over No. 4 Arizona State in Tempe that same season.

Pitcher: Nathan Long (2006-2009) - 14-16, 4.82 ERA, 271.0 IP, 229 K/82 BB, 37 GS
Nathan Long broke the school record for strikeouts during his senior season (104) and he finished his career with the second most strikeouts (229) in school history - most in the decade. Long became only the second pitcher in school history to lead the conference in strikeouts as a senior while being named first team All-SLC. He was one strikeout away from tying the school record for strikeouts in a single game with 15 at Nicholls, which earned him conference and national player of the week recognition. He made the third most starts (37) in the decade and threw the fourth most innings (271.0). Long defeated Alabama in 2008 and he tossed a nine-inning, complete-game shutout his senior season on the road at UT-Pan American. His 2009 first team All-SLC selection was the first for a UTA pitcher since 2004. Long was drafted in the 26th round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics.

Pitcher: Dillon Gee (2005-2007) - 15-25, 5.16 ERA, 298.1 IP, 198 K/91 BB, 42 GS, 8 CG
Dillon Gee pitched more innings (298.1) and made more starts (42) than any UTA pitcher during the decade, despite playing only three seasons before being drafted by the New York Mets in the 21st round of the 2007 MLB Draft. Gee was a workhorse during his career for the Mavericks and finished his collegiate career as the only UTA pitcher in the decade to toss back-to-back 100-plus inning seasons in 2006 and 2007. Gee, who led UTA in wins during his final two seasons, recorded a team-leading 4.67 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 2007 for a UTA team that won only 13 games. Gee was a two-time honorable mention All-SLC selection and was named SLC Pitcher of the Week three times. Gee had a standout performance as a freshman when he threw a complete-game, four-hit shutout against No. 12 Baylor as he led the Mavericks to a 2-0 victory at Clay Gould Ballpark. Overall, Gee had three complete-game shutouts in his three-year career. Gee is currently in Triple-A with the Mets.

Relief Pitcher: Mike Snapp (2001-2004) - 17-18, 3.27 ERA, 131 APP, 23 SV, 156 K/54 BB
No pitcher in UTA history has the credentials that Mike Snapp brings to the table after setting school and conference all-time records with 131 appearances and 23 saves in his four-year career. Perhaps the most amazing stat to go along with his 131 appearances is his 248 innings pitched. He made only five starts in his career (all coming in 2001) and averaged close to two-innings per outing. His 131 appearances are tied for sixth all-time in NCAA history and his 126 relief outings are also sixth in the NCAA record books. Snapp was an SLC All-Tournament selection in 2001 and he earned third team All-SLC in 2002 and second team all-league honors in 2004. Snapp's 1.42 ERA in 2004 is a school single-season record while his 12 saves that season are the most by a UTA pitcher in the decade and rank second all-time. Three straight seasons Snapp led the Mavericks in appearances and saves. He owns the second, third and fourth most appearances in a single-season, and his single-season saves rank him second, tied for fourth and tied for sixth in UTA single-season history. Snapp signed a free-agent contract with the Boston Red Sox following the 2004 season.

 

 

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