Jan. 25, 2013
By Michael Eldridge | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The UT Arlington baseball team officially opened up for practice Friday at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The Mavericks have exactly three weeks until their opening series against Louisiana Tech at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 at Clay Gould Ballpark. UTA coach Darin Thomas said that despite the weather not exactly being baseball friendly that the team is excited to hit the field.
"If you can't get excited about this time of the year, you shouldn't be playing baseball," Thomas said. "I wouldn't be surprised if some of the guys slept in their practice gear because this is why you play."
Along with the opening of practice, UTA is just days away from completion of its new indoor practice facility. The new facilities will allow the baseball and softball teams to be able to deal with anything that Mother Nature throws at the team.
"It's huge," Thomas said. "We've never had anything like it, so it's tough to keep them out of there. It's definitely going to help in player development and team chemistry. Whether the weather gets bad we can still use the facility and still have a practice."
This season, UTA is returning six positional starters and five pitchers to its 32-player roster, which is made up of 17 returners and 15 newcomers.
Returning starter John Beck said the team is trying to find the right roles for each player and that with practice opening the team can begin to find the thing that gets the team rolling.
"I'm excited to see how we are going to be this year," Beck said. "It's been a long fall and we have been working hard this year. Going into the WAC, it's going to be some different competition."
The Mavericks open up the 2013 season with three consecutive weekends of playing home ball. Following the series with LA Tech, the Mavs host Northwestern on Feb. 22 and 23, and the UT Arlington Hilton Invitational on March 1-3.
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