FRIDAY NIGHT PITCHING MATCHUP HIGHLIGHTS KEY SLC SERIES
April 1, 2005
ARLINGTON, Texas - Pitching will tell the story on Friday evening when Texas-Arlington (15-14, 5-1 SLC) and Louisiana-Monroe (14-10, 1-5 SLC) open up a three-game Southland Conference series at Clay Gould Ballpark. Friday nights game will get underway at 7 p.m. with a 3 p.m. start on Saturday and a 1 p.m. matinee on Sunday.
The SLC's top two pitchers will face each other in the series opener as UTA will send Jake Baxter (6-0, 1.64 ERA) to the mound for his first Friday night start of the season, while ULM will counter with Matt Green (5-1, 2.35 ERA). Baxter leads the league in wins, ERA and innings pitched. Green leads the conference with 66 strikeouts in 46 innings.
The Mavs do not lose much on the mound after Baxter as all three of their weekend starters are ranked in the Top 10 in the SLC. UTA will send Grant Varnell (2-2, 2.81 ERA) to the mound and Michael Gardner (3-2, 3.26 ERA) will toe the rubber on Sunday. The Mavs three starting pitchers are a combined 11-4 with a 2.57 ERA. The Indians will throw 6-9 right-hander Matt Lane (2-3, 5.40 ERA) on Saturday and have not decided on a Sunday starter.
The Mavs offense has come alive in the SLC games as the team has scored 44 runs in the six contests. Josh McSpadden leads the offense by hitting .458 in conference play after going 7-for-14 in the series sweep over Sam Houston State. Aaron Batlle leads the team with nine RBIs and Nathan Warrick has scored nine runs.
Overall, the Mavs are hitting .265 as a team with McSpadden leading the way at .324. He also leads the team with 15 walks and is second on the team with 18 runs scored. Daniel Macha is second on the team at .303. Batlle leads the team with 10 doubles, four home runs and 25 RBIs. Warrick leads the team with 21 runs scored and nine stolen bases.
The Mavs will return to Clay Gould Ballpark on April 5 when they host local rival TCU. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. and will be shown on tape-delay on Arlington Comcast Cable Channel 16.