Feb. 4, 2013
By Michael Eldridge | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The UT Arlington infield will have familiar faces around the diamond when the season starts Feb. 15 against Louisiana Tech at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The Mavericks return three starters from their 2012 Southland Conference Championship team in juniors Ryan Walker and Greg McCall, as well as sophomore Travis Sibley. The Mavs welcome J.M. Twichell, Peter Cuomo and Darien McLemore into their infield group.
UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said that the group should be experienced to be successful despite a few new faces.
"We will find a way to score but we have to play defense and it starts with your infield and behind the plate," Thomas said.
The infield begins with the anchor of the team at shortstop. Walker led the 2012 team in batting average (.360), runs scored (56) and hits (90) and was named to the College Sports Madness' 2013 Madness WAC Baseball Preseason All-Conference First Team. Walker was the only Maverick to start in all of UTA's 61 games.
"We have the same expectations that we always have," Walker said. "To make every play and every routine play. Positions may change but we have the same expecations. I want to drive guys in and they want to drive me in."
Sophomore Travis Sibley was a regular starter on the 2012 team and hit .359 in 27 games played and 17 starts. Senior Cody Dyvig is also part of the infield depth chart. Dyvig hit .148 in 15 games making four starts last year.
Twichell was an All-State performer in high school at Bishop Lynch High School. Cuomo was a four-year letterwinner in high school and first-team All-Conference member at Weatherford College in 2012.
Behind the plate, the Mavs have a familiar face in McCall. The junior started in 50 games in 2012 and hit for a .189 average. McCall threw out 21 of 34 runners attempting to steal and had just seven errors on the season.
"I expect Greg McCall to have a lot better offense this year," Thomas said. "He hit into some bad luck last year and is very capable of having a break out year."