May 3, 2010
Dallas Baptist Game Notes
ARLINGTON, Texas -
UT Arlington opens its final homestand of the season Tuesday, May 4, hosting Dallas Baptist for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch. It is the first of seven home games for the Mavericks as they also play home conference series against Stephen F. Austin (May 7-9) and Lamar (May 14-16). UTA is coming off its second straight conference series sweep, taking three games at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi last weekend. The Mavericks have now won eight of their last 10 games, including eight in a row during Southland play.
INSIDE THE SERIES
UT Arlington and Dallas Baptist meet for the 57th time Tuesday as the Patriots lead the all-time series 29-27. Dallas Baptist won three games against the Mavs as these two teams met in Arlington (2/19) and Dallas (2/20 - DH) to open the season. Overall, DBU has won seven in a row in this series and 10 of the last 12. UTA is 22-11 against DBU in games played in Arlington while the Patriots hold a 16-5 advantage in games played in Dallas. DBU beat the Mavericks 13-2 on Opening Day in Arlington.
First Pitch: Tues: 6:30 p.m.
All-Time Series DBU leads, 29-27
Last Meeting DBU defeated UTA, 11-6
Dallas, Texas (2/20/10)
Stadium Clay Gould Ballpark (1,600)
Dimensions: 330 (LF), 400 (CF), 330 (RF)
Live Stats (GameTracker) www.utamavs.com
Press Box (817) 462-4225
UT ARLINGTON MAVERICKS
Overall Record: 23-22
Conference Record: 16-8
Home Record: 13-10
Away Record: 10-12
Neutral Record: 0-0
Last 5/Last 10: 4-1/8-2
Streak: Won 3
Rankings: BA: NR/CB: NR/NCBWA: NR/ESPN: NR
Head Coach: Darin Thomas
Career Record: 79-79 (3rd year)
Record at UTA: 79-79 (3rd year)
DALLAS BAPTIST PATRIOTS
Overall Record: 24-19
Conference Record: N/A
Home Record: 17-8
Away Record: 6-10
Neutral Record: 1-1
Last 5/Last 10: 2-3/6-4
Streak: Lost 2
Rankings: BA: NR/CB: NR/NCBWA: NR/ESPN: NR
Head Coach: Dan Heefner
Career Record: 99-54 (4th year)
Record at School: 99-54 (4th year)
Day Pitcher Cl. W-L ERA K/BB
Tues. Mark Picca (LHP) Jr. 1-5 6.29 29/12
Day Pitcher Cl. W-L ERA K/BB
Tues. Ryan Millard (LHP) Sr. 4-2 5.36 25/20
UTA PRESIDENT JAMES SPANIOLO TO THROW OUT FIRST PITCH
UT Arlington president James Spaniolo will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Tuesday before the Mavericks and Patriots face off at Clay Gould Ballpark at 6:30 p.m. President Spaniolo has thrown out a ceremonial first pitch prior to a UT Arlington home game in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. Last season the Mavericks defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 10-4 on Saturday, May 2, when Spaniolo threw out the first pitch. The win also marked the Mavericks 700th home victory.
UTA RETIRES TREY HILLMAN'S #1 JERSEY SATURDAY, HONORS
DAVE OWEN AND STEVE FOSTER IN PRE-GAME CEREMONY
Three former UT Arlington baseball greats will be at Clay Gould Ballpark prior to the UTA/Stephen F. Austin game Saturday, May 8 (2 p.m.). UTA will officially retire the #1 jersey of current Kansas City Royals manager and former Maverick shortstop Trey Hillman (1982-85) and will recognize Dave Owen (1977-79) and Steve Foster (1987-88), who were the first Maverick player and pitcher to make it to the major leagues, respectively. Hillman, Foster (KC Royals bullpen coach) and Owen (third-base coach) will all be on hand as the Royals will be in town to play the Rangers, May 6-9.
UT ARLINGTON VS. INDEPENDENT NCAA D-I TEAMS
UT Arlington is 53-56 all-time against teams that are current Independent NCAA D-I programs. The Mavericks are 27-29 all-time against Dallas Baptist. UTA has also played Houston Baptist (0-2), North Dakota State (4-0), South Dakota State (2-0) and UT-Pan American (20-25).
TAKING A LOOK BACK
- - - Friday: UT Arlington scored 10 unanswered runs to overcome a four-run deficit (6-2) after four innings to win its second consecutive series opener. Jordan Vaughn (5-for-6) became the first Mavericks since 2005 to have five base hits in a game and Jesse Payne finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle (3-for-6). Jason Mitchell struck out 10 batters - marking his second straight start where he struck out double figures - in his fourth complete game of the season while allowing seven runs, one walk and 12 base hits. Michael Choice (0-for-3) was walked three times - twice intentionally. It was the fourth time this season Choice received a pair of intentional walks in a game. It was the Mavericks first win against the Islanders in Corpus Christi since March 15, 2005 (7-6).
- - - Saturday: The Mavs game-two win over the Islanders was a historic day for UT Arlington baseball. Michael Choice broke the school's all-time career home run record hitting his 32nd home run and Darin Thomas became the fastest Maverick head coach in school history to win 50 Southland Conference games (85 games). Rett Varner threw his second complete game of the season holding the Islanders to one run (unearned) on five hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk. It is also his second straight outing with 10 strikeouts. Choice's record-breaking homer was a two-run shot that went over the scoreboard in right-center field. The UTA 6-through-9 hole batters went a combined 8-for-18 with five runs, four RBI and four doubles.
- - - Sunday: UT Arlington run-ruled Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to sweep the Southland Conference series, marking the second straight sweep for the Mavericks in conference play. The Mavericks won 19-4 in eight innings, which is a season-high for the Mavs in runs scored this season. UTA also posted season-highs in RBI (18) and matched the team season-high in triples (2). Jesse Payne went 5-for-5 with four runs scored, two triples, a double and five RBI. Michael Choice went 3-for-5 with two runs, a double and four RBI. Every starting position player recorded a base hit while UTA scored six runs in the third, four in the fifth and seven runs in the eighth for the run-rule victory.
ON THE HORIZON
UTA opens its final homestand of the season playing the first of seven consecutive games at Clay Gould Ballpark Tuesday, May 4, against Dallas Baptist at 6:30 p.m. UTA follows with a three-game series at home against Stephen F. Austin (May 7-9) and then plays its final home series against Lamar (May 14-16).
THE RACE FOR THE SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
The top three teams in the Southland Conference all swept road series last weekend as Texas State (18-6) swept UTSA, Stephen F. Austin (16-7) took three at Sam Houston State and UT Arlington (16-8) jumped up to third place in the standings after a sweep at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Northwestern State (15-8) is in fourth place after winning a pair at Central Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana (15-9) remains in the middle of the conference in fifth place after winning two games at Nicholls. McNeese State (14-10) separated themselves from Lamar (11-13) for sixth place in the league while Lamar, despite being swept by McNeese State in Lake Charles, is tied with Nicholls (11-13) for seventh and eighth place. The top eight teams in the Southland Conference will advance to the Southland Conference Tournament, May 26-29, in Corpus Christi, Texas, at Whataburger Field.
Jesse Payne HAS BASE HITS IN SEVEN CONSECUTIVE PLATE APPEARANCES (UTA RECORD IS NINE)
Shortstop Jesse Payne has base hits in seven consecutive plate appearances. He singled and doubled in his final two times plate appearances Saturday, May 1, against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and the following day went 5-for-5 with two singles, two triples and a double. The school record for base hits in consecutive plate appearances is nine (Chad McBroom, 1997).
MAVERICKS SCORE 20 RUNS AT A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI - MOST ON THE ROAD SINCE 2006
UT Arlington scored 19 runs in a 19-4, run-rule victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Sunday, May 2, at Chapman Field in Corpus Christi. It was the most runs the Mavericks had scored in a road game since scoring 19 runs at McNeese State on April 15, 2006, in the Mavs' 19-5 game-two victory in Lake Charles, La.
Jesse Payne FIRST MAVERICK SINCE DAVID McLEOD IN 2008 WITH TWO TRIPLES IN ONE GAME
Shortstop Jesse Payne went 5-for-5 with two triples, a double, two singles, four runs and five RBI in the series finale against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Sunday, May 2, in Corpus Christi. Payne became the first Maverick since David McLeod in 2008 to have two triples in a game. McLeod's performance was also on the road at McNeese State (4/13/08) while going 4-for-6 with two doubles and two triples with three runs scored and one RBI in the Mavs' 13-12 victory which clinched UTA's first ever series sweep over the Cowboys in Lake Charles, La.
Michael Choice BREAKS UT ARLINGTON ALL-TIME CAREER HOME RUN RECORD
Michael Choice broke the UT Arlington all-time career home run record with his 32nd home run - 14th of the season - with a two-run shot in the seventh inning of the Mavs' 9-1 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Saturday, May 1, in Corpus Christi. The home run was belted over the scoreboard in right-center field which gave Choice 32 career home runs in 150 career games played. Choice has hit 32 home runs in 12 ballparks, including six in Southland ballparks and three at Big 12 stadiums. He has hit 18 on the road and 14 at Clay Gould Ballpark. Choice has hit home runs against 21 opponents and against 31 different pitchers. The only pitcher to allow a pair to Choice is Central Arkansas' Bobby Pritchett (4/18/09). He has hit 13 solo homers, nine two-run home runs, seven three-run homers and three grand slams.
Michael Choice ON PACE TO BREAK SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE SINGLE-SEASON WALKS RECORD
Michael Choice's walk total this season is on a record-setting pace with 59 walks in 45 games. The Southland Conference all-time single-season walks record is 68 by Lamar's Kerry Christensen (1982). Choice is on pace for 73 walks during the Mavs' 56-game regular season schedule. Choice needs only three walks to break the UTA all-time single season record held by Dave Owen (61) in 1978.
Darin Thomas BECOMES FASTEST MAVERICK COACH TO WIN 50 SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE GAMES
Darin Thomas became the fastest UTA baseball coach to win 50 Southland Conference games on Saturday, May 1, with a 9-1 win at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in just his 85th conference game and in his third year as head coach. The previous mark was set by former head coach Jeff Curtis who won 50 conference games in 86 tries. Thomas is just the third coach in UTA history to win 50 conference games joining Curtis and long-time head coach Butch McBroom, who won his 50th conference game in 118 games.
Darin Thomas' TEAMS HOLD LEADS
In three seasons under Maverick head coach Darin Thomas, UT Arlington has been tough when holding leads after 2/3 of the game is complete. The Mavericks are 64-6 under Thomas when leading after six innings. In fact, UTA is a perfect 18-0 this season when leading after six innings and was 23-3 last season.
RETT VARNER/JASON MITCHELL STRIKEOUT AT LEAST 10 IN CONSECUTIVE STARTS
Rett Varner and Jason Mitchell each notched complete games in their last start against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Both pitchers also recorded at least 10 strikeouts for the second straight outing. Varner struck out 10 batters in 7.0 innings against Central Arkansas in the Mavs' 8-3 win (4/24) and followed that start with 10 strikeouts in a nine-inning complete game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (5/1) in the Mavs' 9-1 victory on the road. Mitchell, the Mavs' Friday night starter, struck out 12 in 8.0 innings against Central Arkansas (4/23) before striking out 10 at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the Mavs' 13-7 victory. The last UTA pitcher to strikeout at least 10 batters in three consecutive starts was Nathan Long, who struck out 10 at home against Northwestern State (3/21), struck out a career-high 15 at Nicholls (3/28) and struck out 10 at home against Southeastern Louisiana (4/4) last season.
Steffan Guest EYES UTA SINGLE-SEASON DOUBLES RECORD
Steffan Guest ranks second in the Southland Conference and is moving up the all-time UTA single-season record book with 19 doubles this season. The senior designated hitter is on pace to break the UTA record which was set last season at 23 by former Mavs' DH/left fielder Andrew Kainer. Guest has hit 19 doubles in 44 games. He has hit three doubles in his last three games and has recorded nine two-baggers since April 9.
JESSE PAYNE/JORDAN VAUGHN EACH HAVE FIVE-HIT GAMES IN SAME WEEKEND
It had been four years since a Maverick had five hits in a game and twice in the same weekend two Mavericks accomplished the feat as first baseman Jordan Vaughn went 5-for-6 on Friday, April 30, against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and then in the series finale on Sunday, May 2 against the Islanders, shortstop Jesse Payne went 5-for-5. Vaughn's career day included five singles, two runs and three RBI while Payne tallied two triples, a double and two singles with four runs scored and five RBI. The last Maverick to have five hits in a game was Ben Burum, who went 5-for-5 with three runs, three doubles and four RBI against McNeese State in Lake Charles, La. (4/15/06).
Mark Picca LEADS NCAA DIVISION I IN PICKOFFS
Mark Picca leads the NCAA Division I with eight pickoffs this season. The junior lefty notched his eighth pickoff on Tuesday, April 27, at Oklahoma State. (research credited to: Matthew Bonnette - SID, Northwestern State).
Michael Choice LEADS THE NATION IN WALKS - 59 WALKS IN 45 GAMES
Teams are learning that the easiest way to not let Michael Choice beat them is by not throwing him a strike. The junior All-American is cooperating with an NCAA best 59 walks in 45 games played. Rice's Anthony Rendon ranks second behind Choice with 48 walks. He has 17 games where he has received multiple walks, including seven three-walk games and one game with four walks. He has been walked at least once in 16 of his last 18 games and in 22 of the last 25 games. He already has 30 more walks than he did a year ago when he led the team with 29. In fact, Choice's 59 walks are already more than any Maverick has had in a single season since 1980 (Randy Thorpe - 60). Choice is currently third on the UTA single-season list. Choice has now been walked or hit by pitch in 29 of his last 70 plate appearances.
Darin Thomas WINS 50TH CAREER HOME GAME
UT Arlington third year head coach Darin Thomas won his 50th career home game on
Sunday, April 25, with a 9-6 victory over Central Arkansas at Clay Gould Ballpark. The win also marked the 20th overall win for UTA this season. Thomas and the Mavericks are 13-10 at home this season. He posted a 17-13 record at home in his first season as head coach in 2008 and last season went 20-7 at home, which marked only the third time since 1993 that UTA had won at least 20 games at home in a single season.
Michael Choice MOVES UP TO NO. 15 ON BASEBALL AMERICA'S 2010 MLB DRAFT TOP 50 LIST
Michael Choice, who was a projected first-round draft pick by Baseball America, has moved up to No. 15 on the publication's most recent 2010 MLB Draft Top 50 list that was released April 21. Choice is the seventh highest NCAA Division I player listed, he is the second highest ranked outfielder and is the highest ranked collegiate player from the state of Texas. Choice was listed No. 30 on Baseball America's "Projected First-Round Draft Picks list" released on February 14.
Jason Mitchell: STRIKEOUT WATCH
Jason Mitchell is on pace to break the UTA all-time single-season strikeout record with 93 strikeouts in 13 appearances (11 starts). Mitchell is averaging 10.0 strikeouts per 9 innings. He leads UTA with a 3.43 ERA in 84.0 innings. He has combined on two shutouts and has one complete-game shutout this season. He has pitched four complete games in conference play - including three consecutive - and has allowed only 83 hits and 46 runs (32 ER). Mitchell has issued only 17 walks while opponents are batting .255 against him. Mitchell's 93 strikeouts currently place him seventh on the school's all-time single-season list. Last season Nathan Long broke the UTA single-season strikeout record with 104 strikeouts. In Long's first 12 starts last season he had 92 strikeouts. Long finished his senior season leading the Southland in strikeouts and was drafted in the 26th round by the Oakland Athletics.
Michael Choice LEADS SOUTHLAND IN ON-BASE AND SLUGGING PERCENTAGE
Michael Choice leads the Southland Conference with a .571 on-base percentage and a .757 slugging percentage. Choice has 25 extra-base hits in 152 at-bats along with 36 singles. His slugging percentage is 84 points higher than Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's Trey Hernandez (.673). Since March 28 - spanning the last 23 games - Choice has reached base in 74-of-112 (66%) plate appearances.
Michael Choice CONTINUES STREAK: 57 STRAIGHT GAMES REACHING BASE SAFELY
Michael Choice has reached base safely in 57 consecutive games dating back to last season. The last game Choice did not reach base with a base hit/hit by pitch or walk was last season against Oklahoma State (4/28/09) where he went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. He finished the 2009 season with a 12-game hit streak and this season has hit safely in 37 of 44 games. In the eight games Choice hasn't recorded a base hit he has tallied 17 walks, one hit by pitch and he had four walks against Missouri State (2/26).
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR Michael Choice YOU WILL FIND HIM ON BASE
Michael Choice owns a .571 on-base percentage, which ranks fourth in the nation, but reaching base at a high percentage is just half of the conversation. Choice has reached base safely in 57 consecutive games dating back to last season, but through last season and into the end of his freshman year, Choice has reached base safely in 103 of his last 105 games played. Only twice in 2009 did Choice not reach base safely (April 28 - at Oklahoma State/April 25 - at Stephen F. Austin). In his career at UTA, Choice has reached base safely in 142 of 151 career games played. Only seven games during his freshman season did Choice not reach base safely via base hit, hit by pitch or walk.
Jason Mitchell AMONG NATION'S ELITE THIS SEASON IN SEVERAL PITCHING CATEGORIES
Jason Mitchell leads the Southland Conference in strikeouts (93) and innings pitched (84.0) while also ranking nationally in several pitching categories. Mitchell's 93 strikeouts rank him eighth in the nation, with Mississippi's Drew Pomeranz leading the country with 104. Mitchell is third in the nation with 84.0 innings pitched, just 3.1 innings behind Jackson State's Quintavious Drains (87.1) who leads the nation. Mitchell is also tied for sixth in the nation with four complete games.
BAWCOM PROVIDING CONSISTENCY IN SUNDAY STARTS
Junior Logan Bawcom has proved to be the answer for the Mavericks on the mound on Sunday's in Southland Conference play. Since taking over as the Sunday starter for UTA on March 21 at UTSA, Bawcom has pitched at least 7.0 innings in seven consecutive starts. His most recent outing was in his fifth conference victory against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on the road where he threw 7.0 innings allowing three runs on eight hits with six strikeouts.
Michael Choice BECOMES NINTH MAVERICKS WITH OVER 100 CAREER WALKS
Michael Choice notched his 100th career walk on Friday, April 23, against Central Arkansas when he was issued three walks, two intentionally. Choice is just the ninth all-time Maverick to record 100 career walks. In fact, Choice collected career walk No. 100 in just his 144th career game played.
Michael Choice NAMED BASEBALL AMERICA MIDSEASON FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICAN
Baseball America announced its Midseason College All-America team on April 8 and UT Arlington's Michael Choice was one of three outfielders in the country named a first team selection. The publication's midseason team included the top 15 players (10 position players, 5 pitchers) in the country.
Michael Choice BREAKS UTA SINGLE-SEASON INTENTIONAL WALKS RECORD
In only 32 games, Michael Choice broke the UTA single-season intentional walks record that was previously set in 2006 by current Seattle Mariners catcher Adam Moore with seven. Choice now has 15 intentional walks this season. He broke the single-season intentional walks record against then-No. 22 Southeastern Louisiana (4/11/10). Choice broke the record while receiving his sixth walk in six consecutive plate appearances. Choice now has 20 career intentional walks - a UTA career record - after receiving two as a freshman and three as a sophomore.
Jason Mitchell EARNS THIRD SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE PITCHER OF THE WEEK AWARD
Senior right-handed pitcher Jason Mitchell was named the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week on April 5, for the third time this season and for the second straight week. Mitchell becomes the first pitcher in the league to win the award in consecutive week in over five years. He was also named conference pitcher of the week on March 29 and March 2.
SEVEN MAVERICKS LAND ON MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL OPENING DAY ROSTERS
UT Arlington is well represented on Major League Baseball's Opening Day on Monday with seven former players on rosters. Four active players, two coaches and a manager represent the Mavericks as Trey Hillman (Kansas City Royals, manager), Dave Owen (Kansas City Royals, third-base coach), Steve Foster (Kansas City Royals, bullpen coach), John Lackey (Boston Red Sox, pitcher), Mark Lowe (Seattle Mariners, pitcher), Hunter Pence (Houston Astros, outfielder) and Adam Moore (Seattle Mariners) will all be with their respective teams for Opening Day.
UTA IS ONE OF ONLY SEVEN PROGRAMS IN THE NATION TO LAND THREE PLAYERS ON SELECT WATCH LISTS
UT Arlington is one of only seven programs in the nation to land three players on three prestigious national award watch lists. Michael Choice (USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award), Chad Comer (Johnny Bench Award) and Jason Mitchell (National Pitcher of the Year) have all been listed among the nation's elite. The only programs in the country that can lay claim to that is Arkansas, Coastal Carolina, Florida State, LSU, Ohio State, Texas, UC Irvine and UT Arlington.
Jason Mitchell NAMED TO NATIONAL PITCHER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
The College Baseball Foundation announced its National Pitcher of the Year watch list on Tuesday and UT Arlington's Jason Mitchell was one of 49 pitchers in the country who were named to the list. Mitchell is one of only two pitchers from the Southland Conference to join the nation's elite (Josh Janway, Southeastern Louisiana).
Chad Comer NAMED TO JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST
Junior catcher Chad Comer has been named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List, which was announced Monday, March 1, by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. The award, which is given annually to the top collegiate catcher, will be narrowed down to 10 semifinalists on May 19. Finalists for the award will be announced June 2.