Tickets | Live Stats | Game Notes
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The UTA baseball team will open its 2017 season on Friday, traveling to participate in a three-team invitational tournament hosted by Stephen F. Austin. UTA will open 2017 on Friday vs. SEMO at 2:30 p.m. CT, play a doubleheader on Saturday vs. SFA at 11 a.m. and SEMO at 2:30 p.m., before concluding the weekend vs. SFA on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Jaycees Field.
UTA's two games vs. SFA will be live streamed through the its Facebook live and the SFA Web site, SFAjacks.com. Live stats are available through UTAMavs.com and SFAjacks.com. Tickets are also available on SFAjacks.com, ranging from $8 for reserved chairback seats and $5 for general admission. Visiting student tickets, with valid ID, are $3.
Leading the Mavs
The Mavericks are coming off a 30-win season in 2016 and return All-Sun Belt Conference selections Brady Cox, Kadon Simmons, Quintin Rorhbaugh and Colton Turner. Cox, a senior catcher, led the team with a .365 average in 2016 and was named preseason all-conference by the league coaches. Simmons led the conference in pitching wins (nine) in his UTA debut season, Rohrbaugh batted .343 as a junior and Turner finished with 19 extra-base hits in 2016.
Projected Pitching Matchups
Friday vs. SEMO
Sr., RHP Kadon Simmons (9-4, 3.05 ERA in 2016) vs. Sr., RHP Clay Chandler (4-5, 3.90 ERA)
Saturday vs. SFA
Jr., LHP Jakob Hernandez OR Jr., RHP Trae Patterson vs. Sr., LHP Erik Nouis (4-4, 4.17 ERA)
Saturday vs. SEMO
Jr., LHP Jakob Hernandez OR Jr., RHP Trae Patterson vs. Sr., RHP Justin Murphy (4-2, 2.97 ERA)
Sunday vs. SFA
Jr., RHP Reid Petty (0-0, 10.80 ERA in 2016) vs. Jr., RHP Tony Grabowske
Scouting the Foes
Stephen F. Austin enters 2017 led by its relief ace, Tyler Starks, who is a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Watch List. SFA also returns senior outfielders Conner Fikes and Zac Michener, members of the preseason All-Southland Conference team. Fikes hit .362 in 2016 and led the conference in triples, with Michener earning league newcomer of the year accolades. SFA finished the year with a 30-30 overall record, including a 14-16 mark in the Southland.
SEMO enters its first season under head coach Andy Sawyers, who most recently spent two seasons as the associate head coach at Kansas State. The Redhawks, who are receiving votes in the preseason NCBWA poll, are picked as the preseason favorite to win the Ohio Valley Conference, the third straight year SEMO has been picked to win the league in the preseason. SEMO has won two consecutive regular-season titles in the OVC and won the 2016 OVC tournament with a 39-21 record and a 22-8 mark in league play. The Redhawks finished the 2016 season ranked fifth in the NCAA in walks, sixth in runs, seventh in on-base percentage and eighth in runs per game.
The Redhawks are led by preseason All-America outfielder Chris Osborne, who led the nation with a .741 slugging percentage in 2016. He finished with 15 homers and a .367 average. Obsorne and pitchers Robert Beltran and Clay Candler were each named preseason All-OVC.
UTA leads the all-time series with SFA, 33-23, including a 16-11 mark in games played in Nocogdoches. The Mavs split the two meetings on opening weekend in 2016, with SFA posting a 2-1 win before UTA bounced back with a 13-7 win in the finale of the first weekend of the year in Arlington. UTA will be meeting SEMO for the first time in program annals.
UTA in Season Openers
The Mavs have a 5-4 record in season lidlifters under head coach Darin Thomas. Overall, UTA owns a 24-25 record in season openers, dating back to the first year of the program in 1969.