March 22, 2012
UT Arlington (13-8) at Southeastern Louisiana (15-6) PreviewUTA Probable Starting PitchersFriday: Collin Reynolds, RHP (3-0, 3.31 ERA)Saturday: Lance Day, RHP (6-0, 2.77 ERA)Sunday: TBA
ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington (13-8) hits the road for a weekend Southland Conference series beginning Friday at Southeastern Louisiana. The Mavericks are 13-8 on the season and have won four of their last six games.
UTA is 6-4 on the road this season, with two of those wins coming this past weekend at Lamar. The Mavericks had Tuesday's game at Dallas Baptist rained out.
The Lions are 15-6 overall and 3-3 in the SLC. The series against SELU is tied 21-21.
LAST TIME OUT: UTA took two out of three games over the weekend at Lamar to even its Southland Conference record at 3-3. The Mavericks got strong starting pitching throughout the three-game set, with starters Collin Reynolds and Lance Day working into the seventh in their respective outings. UTA had a chance at a sweep, but the Cardinals scored in the bottom of the ninth Sunday to salvage Game 3.
TO BE THE BEST YOU HAVE TO PLAY THE BEST: As has been tradition under head coach Darin Thomas, UTA once again features a tough schedule with 10 games against tournament teams from last year. The Mavs have already beaten No. 12 Texas and No. 16 Oklahoma. UTA faces NCAA Tournament team Texas A&M on April 10. The slate includes two games against Dallas Baptist (at DBU on March 20; home on May 1), two vs. TCU (home on March 27; at TCU on April 11) and three vs. Texas State (home from March 9-11).
...AND BEAT THE BEST: UTA has already beaten No. 12 Texas, No. 16 Oklahoma and No. 21 Texas State this season. In 2011, the Mavericks picked up six wins over nationally ranked teams and have now won 17 games versus top-25 teams during head coach Darin Thomas’ five seasons. Last year’s victims included: TCU, Texas State (twice) and Wichita State (twice).
DYNAMIC DUO AMONG NATION’S BEST: RF Preston Beck and RHP Lance Day have been catalysts in UTA’s solid 13-8 start and rank among the nation’s leaders. Beck entered last week ranked in the NCAA Division I’s top 12 in three different categories: triples (6th, 3), RBI (5th, 25) and RBI per game (12th, 1.56). Day was tied for first five victories. He’s now 6-0 on the season.
SHORTALL & BECK EARN SLC HITTING HONORS: Sophomore DH Matt Shortall was the first Southland Conference Hitter of the Week of the season. Shortall made his UTA debut in the Mavericks’ 2-1 series win at Louisiana Tech after sitting out last season transferring from Tulane. The sophomore from Dallas, Texas (Dallas Jesuit H.S.), had five hits in six at-bats in the season-opening 17-10 win against the Bulldogs. Shortall finished two singles, two doubles and a triple, missing the cycle by a home run. He picked up that homer in the second game of the series to go along with four RBI, and managed at least one hit in all three games. Shortall was 7 of 14 in the series with a 1.000 slugging percentage.
Junior OF Preston Beck was the SLC Hitter of the Week on March 5. Beck continues to contribute more than one RBI per game this season, racking up seven in five games to win the award. The junior reigns as the team’s leading hitter, batting .467 (at the time of the award) as the Mavericks went 4-1. Beck started that week at No. 16 Oklahoma, where he broke the game open with a three-run homer, propelling the Mavericks to a 10-3 win over the Sooners. Beck had seven hits in his 15 at bats, including two triples.
YOUNG HORSES: Fourteen of the 35 players on the roster are either freshmen or sophomores and 27 of the 35 members have fewer than two years of Division I experience heading into the season.
WALKER, TEXAS MAVERICK: Ryan Walker was named to the preseason first-team All-Southland Conference team at shortstop. Last year, Walker became the fourth UTA player ever to be named Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American team. He led team with 43 runs and 37 RBI, and ranked second in batting average (.322), hits (76), doubles (13), stolen bases (11) and on-base percentage (.387).
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP BRIEFS
Philip Incaviglia (CF) - Has 8 runs and 10 total bases.
Ryan Walker (SS) - Preseason first-team all-SLC selection and returning Freshman All-American. Hitting .318 with a team-high 22 runs, team-high 27 hits and 10 RBI.
Michael Guerra (2B) - Batting .316 with 12 runs, 25 hits and 13 RBI.
Preston Beck (RF) - Batting team-high .343 with team-high 4 HR, team-high 28 RBI and 24 hits.
Matt Shortall (DH) - Redshirt sophomore is hitting .258 with 12 RBI.
Preston Morrow (LF) - Batting .333 with 3 RBI.
Jordan Vaughn (1B) - Hitting .224 with 17 hits; one of two 3-year lettermen.
Stewart Hill (3B) - Junior transfer has started 14 games.
Greg McCall (C) - Has 8 runs, 9 BB and 12 assists.