Baseball faces challenge at SLC-leading Stephen F. Austin
April 28, 2011
ARLINGTON, Tex. - UT Arlington looks to build on the momentum created by the first half of its eight-game roadtrip this weekend when it travels to Nacogdoches to face Stephen F. Austin.
The Mavericks will have their work cut out for them in facing the Lumberjacks, who are currently tied with Texas State for first in the Southland Conference. Stephen F. Austin leads the league in batting average and ERA.
UTA opens the weekend as one of three teams tied for third in the Southland Conference.
Friday's first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Jaycees Field.
Here is a closer look at the series:
UT Arlington (24-18, 12-9) at Stephen F. Austin (29-12, 15-6)
Saturday, 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
FIRST PITCH: UT Arlington heads to Nacogdoches for a three-game Southland Conference series at Stephen F. Austin after beating Houston Baptist 7-6 on Tuesday. Last weekend, the Mavericks bats came to life. UTA scored 27 runs in the three games. RF Preston Beck led the way with two home runs and eight RBI during the series. The Mavericks have won seven of their last nine games, including taking two of three at Central Arkansas last weekend. UT Arlington will play the fifth, sixth and seventh games of an eight-game roadtrip. The Mavericks are 3-1 so far through the first half of the roadtrip. Following this weekend's series at Stephen F. Austin, the Mavericks play a mid-week game at Louisiana Tech before finally returning home. At 12-9, UT Arlington enters this weekend in a three-way tie with Sam Houston State and Southeastern Louisiana for third place in the Southland Conference. Stephen F. Austin was scheduled to play Houston on Tuesday, but the game was cancelled because of inclement weather. The Lumberjacks have won six of their last seven games and won two of three last weekend against McNeese State. They enter this series tied with Texas State for first in the league. SFA leads the league in batting average and ERA with marks of .306 and 3.39, respectively. Bryson Myles ranks atop the conference with his .420 batting average and 38 stolen bases. He is also tied for the team lead with five home runs.
INSIDE THE SERIES: UT Arlington is 28-17 all-time against Stephen F. Austin, including a win in the Southland Conference Tournament last year in Corpus Christi. Overall, the Mavericks have won three of the last five in the series, including two SLC Tournament games. The Lumberjacks won two of three at Clay Gould Ballpark in 2010. Stephen F. Austin swept the Mavericks the last time the two teams met in Nacogdoches in 2009. The Lumberjacks also took two of three at Jaycees Field in 2008. The Mavericks hold a 12-8 record all-time in Nacogdoches.
COMEBACK KIDS: Through 37 games this season, UT Arlington was 0-15 when trailing after eight innings. The Mavericks flipped that statistic in consecutive games, putting together ninth-inning comebacks in wins over Houston Baptist and Central Arkansas. Against HBU, SS Jesse Payne's two-run triple tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. C Chad Comer followed with a walk-off single to left field. Fast-forward three days to Game 1 of a doubleheader at Central Arkansas when the Mavs trailed 14-12 in the ninth. IF/OF Ryan Walker tied the game with a two-run double and 3B Brian Nephew's two-run single broke the tie. Payne followed with a two-run double and Michael Morales worked a perfect ninth to give UTA an 18-14 victory.