May 3, 2012
UT ARLINGTON (27-19, 14-10) vs. SAM HOUSTON (31-13, 19-5) PREVIEWUTA Probable Starting PitchersFriday: Lance Day (9-1, 3.11 ERA)Saturday: Adam Westbrook (0-3, 2.96 ERA)Sunday: Michael Oberto (0-1, 1.11 ERA)
ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington (27-19, 14-10) returns to Southland Conference action with a three-game home series against league leader Sam Houston. The first game is Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at Clay Gould Ballpark, with games Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). The Mavericks are 11-4 in their last 15 conference games to climb to third place. UTA remains 54th in the latest NCAA Baseball RPI rankings.
Sam Houston is 31-13 overall and first in the SLC at 19-5. The Bearkats are 45th in the last RPI rankings. Sam Houston leads the all-time series with UTA 50-44.
BROADCAST INFO: UTA home games and select road games a www.utaradio.com.
LAST TIME OUT: The Mavericks closed out their nonconference schedule by dropping two games earlier this week against Dallas Baptist. The Mavericks lost at home, 3-0, on Tuesday and at DBU, 12-6, on Wednesday.
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. 2 Texas A&M, No. 12 Texas, No. 16 Oklahoma, No. 21 Texas State, Baylor (unranked at the time) and TCU.
...AND BEAT THE BEST: In 2011, the Mavericks picked up six wins over nationally ranked teams and have now won 18 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 THE BEST: RF Preston Beck and RHP Lance Day have been catalysts in UTA’s 27-19 start and rank among the nation’s and SLC’s leaders. Beck entered this weekend leading the conference in RBI (50), home runs (9) and tied for first in total bases (98). Day leads the SLC in victories (9-1) and innings (84.0).
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.
ANOTHER HONOR FOR BECK: College Sports Madness has named UT Arlington’s Preston Beck the Madness Baseball Southland Player of the Week on April 23. Beck went 3 for 9 with one home run and four RBI in a three-game sweep of Northwestern State at Clay Gould Ballpark. The right fielder also scored four runs and drew three walks.
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.
Walker continues to be the catalyst at the top of the UTA order this season. The sophomore is second in the SLC in hits (69), second in runs (41) and fourth in average (.361). Walker has at least two hits in 23 of the 46 games UTA has played this season.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP BRIEFS
Ryan Walker (SS) - Team-highs in average (.361), runs (41) and hits (69). Started all 46 games.
Derek Miller (2B) - Started last 12 games and has 13 hits, 12 runs & 9 RBI in that span.
Preston Beck (RF) - Batting .337 with SLC-high 9 HRs, SLC-high 50 RBI and 56 hits.
Michael Guerra (DH) - Started 9 straight games since returning from injury and hitting .303.
Jordan Vaughn (1B) - Started last 23 games. Batting .288 with 49 hits and 24 RBI.
Preston Morrow (LF) - On a 8-game hitting streak, upping average to .344.
Greg McCall (C) - Started 35 games, 14 runs, 18 BB and 32 assists.
Brent Bollinger (3B) - Started 23 games, hitting .275 and has 38 assists.
Philip Incaviglia (CF) - Has 19 runs, hitting .264 and 87 putouts.