ARLINGTON, Texas -- UT Arlington hits the road to face a familiar foe in Louisiana Tech at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the start of a three-game series at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston, La.
The Mavericks (12-12, 2-1 WAC) opened up the 2013 campaign with a nonconference series sweep against the Bulldogs (11-16, 1-2) in Arlington. Both teams are entering their second Western Athletic Conference series with the Mavericks taking two of three from UTSA, while LA Tech went 1-2 against Seattle U.
LA Tech’s probable Friday starter Phil Maton is second in the WAC with a 1.14 ERA. He leads a staff that is also second in the conference with an overall team ERA of 3.50. Countering Maton will be Brad Vachon, whose 2.56 ERA is sixth in the WAC.
“Friday is going to be our toughest challenge on a Friday night yet,” UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. “We will have our hands full in game one going against Maton. After that we have to play good baseball and get good starts and the basic stuff you have to do to be successful.”
Chase Weaver and Zach Thompson round out the probable for starters for UTA over the weekend. Weaver is making his fourth start of the season with a 2-0 record and a 3.24 ERA. Thompson is 2-2 on three starts with a 6.00 ERA.
UTA is hoping to return to the form it showed against UTSA last weekend. The Mavs sent 22 runs across the plate in the final two games of the series. Matt Shortall had a career-high five RBI in Sunday's 15-2 win. Shortall’s .372 average is second in the conference. As a team the Mavericks are hitting .281, with four batters hitting above .300. Brandon Lawrence improved his average to .345 after two base hits against in Tuesday's 7-0 loss at Texas A&M.
“We are going to have to forget about our game against Texas A&M,” Thomas said. “It is all going to start with one game at a time. You’d like for your guys to make adjustments as the game goes on.”
The Mavericks return home following their series against the Bulldogs. UTA host Oklahoma Christian on Tuesday at Clay Gould Ballpark before taking on OCU at QuikTrip Park on Wednesday.