Jan. 29, 2013Photo Gallery
By Michael Eldridge | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The UT Arlington baseball team opened the doors on its 5,940 sq. foot facility Tuesday ahead of its season opener against Louisiana Tech on Feb. 15.
"It's going to be huge," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "We've never had anything like it before so its tough to keep them out of there. It's definitely going to help in player developement and chemistry. Whether the weather gets bad, we can still use the facility and still have a practice."
The facility contains interchangable batting cages, pitching mounds and the ability for interchangable settings to allow for an open practice when necessary.
Senior outfielder Jake Pinchback said that it gives the team an opportunity to hit and and get reps during any weather conditions.
"It's such a luxury that we have to hit inside," Pinchback said. "We've always had to go to another facility before and it was an inconvenience. It gives us so many advantages when the weather goes haywire. I'm pretty excited for it."
Sharing the same sentiment as Thomas, Pinchback said that it gives players the ability to make up for lost practice time or conditions when the team does not have a place to practice.
"We're always limited in being able to hit when it gets dark," Pinchback said. "But this we will have 24 hour access to it. If we want to hit at midnight we can. We can grab a guy out of class and come up here anytime and just hit."
The Mavericks, who won the Southland Conference Championship in their last year in the league, spend their one and only season in the Western Athletic Conference this year. Pinchback said that the new facility does give an extra boost of motivation for improvement for the team to make another statement this season.
"With us being in the Southland last year, there were some good teams there but I've heard the WAC is going to be even stronger," Pinchback said. "We finished our last year strong in the SLC and there is no reason why we can't make the same statement in the WAC."
UTA opens the season on Feb. 15 with a three-game non-conference series against Louisiana Tech. Season tickets are on sale at UTAtickets.com. The indoor softball facility is scheduled to open in the next few days as final touches are made.