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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Winners of nine of its last 12 games, UTA will conclude a four-game road swing on Tuesday at Sam Houston State, with first pitch at Don Sanders Stadium slated for 6:30 p.m. CT.
UTA (11-10, 2-1 Sun Belt Conference) opened its league slated over the weekend with a series win at Georgia State, claiming the first and final game of the three-game set. The Mavs have gone 9-3 since the calendar turned to March, including three straight weekend series wins and a midweek result vs. No. 4 Texas Tech last Tuesday at Globe Life Ballpark, home of the Texas Rangers.
Tuesday at Sam Houston State
Sr., RHP Austin Gardner (0-0, 6.00 ERA) vs. TBD
Gardner has appeared in eight games in relief in 2017, owning two saves in nine innings, allowing 10 hits and only two walks, striking out 10. In his career, Gardner has appeared in 20 games with four starts, owning three saves in 34.2 innings, striking out 24.
LEADING THE MAVS
The Mavs have hit .264 as a team in 2017, scoring 96 runs in 21 games, belting 28 doubles, one triple and eight homers, owning a .373 on-base percentage and stealing 17 of 20 bases. Defensively, UTA has fielded at a .959 clip, turning 20 double plays, nabbing nine runners stealing in 21 attempts and picking off a pair of runners. On the mound, the Mavs have a 3.40 team ERA through 190.2 innings, owning seven saves, walking 66 and striking out 157.
At the plate, the Mavs have been paced at the plate by sophomore catcher Will Olson – who leads the Sun Belt Conference in average – hitting .411 with three doubles and five RBI. Sophomore outfielder Aaron Funk has hit .300 with two doubles and a homer, senior outfielder/infielder Quintin Rohrbaugh has batted .294 with four doubles, one triple, two homers and 13 RBI, stealing four bases, and junior infielder Easton Johnson has batted .286 with a double and nine RBI. Senior catcher/infielder Brady Cox owns a .280 average with four doubles and seven RBI, reaching base at a .398 clip. Sophomore shortstop Josh Minjarez has hit .273, junior infielder/outfielder Christian Hollie has gone 3-for-7 and freshman infielder Zac Cook owns a .265 average with two doubles. Junior Omar Salinas paces the team in RBI, driving in 15 and hitting .257 and sophomore outfielder Noah Vaughan leads the team with four homers.
UTA has used the weekend rotation of senior righty Kadon Simmons (2-2, 3.37 ERA) on Fridays, junior right-hander Trae Patterson (1-2, 2.51 ERA) on Saturdays and junior southpaw Jakob Hernandez (2-0, 3.48 ERA) on Sundays. The Mavs have used Reid Petty (1-0, 4.50 ERA), Jordon West (0-1, 5.56 ERA), Matt Michalski (0-1, 10.12 ERA) and Adam Meyer (0-1, 1.76 ERA) to make midweek starts in 2017. Daniel James (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and Gardner lead the team with two saves, with James fanning nine in 7.1 shutout innings last week in his season debut over three games. Lefties Meyer, Brad Vassar (2-1, 2.57 ERA), Jake Wilcox (2-0, 1.69 ERA) and Ryan Buss (0-0, 10.80 ERA) and right-handers James, West, Michalski, Jud Kinzy (1-0, 0.00 ERA), Logan Austin (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and Dylan Schneider (0-2, 3.21 ERA) give the bullpen depth.
SCOUTING THE BEARKATS
Sam Houston State (15-5) is off to a strong start to its season, breaking into top-25 polls early in the year with a 6-0 effort in the Southland Conference. The Bearkats have hit .291 as a team in 2017, with 34 doubles, seven triples, seven homers and 128 runs scored, reaching base at a .389 clip, and stealing a eye-popping 35-of-44 bases. Defensively, SHSU has fielded .976 with 18 double plays turned and throwing out 7-of-13 would-be basestealers. On the mound, the Bearkats have a 2.83 team ERA in 181 innings, allowing only 161 hits and 51 walks, striking out 159 with seven saves.
Blake Chisolm leads SHSU with a .400 average with eight extra-base hits and 15 RBI. Andrew Frigia has hit .358 with four homers and 14 RBI, Robie Rojas leads the team with five doubles and 16 RBI and Bryce Johnson has stolen 13 bases in 20 games.
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