BSB: UTA hosts WKU in SBC action
May 8, 2014
UT Arlington (24-25, 13-11) vs. WKU (27-22, 13-11 SBC)
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington heads down the final stretch of the season with six of its final seven games at home, beginning with a three-game series vs. WKU at Clay Gould Ballpark.
The Mavericks enter with their magic number at two to clinch a position at the Sun Belt Championship. UTA has won eight of its the last 10 games, the best 10-game stretch in the SBC currently.
UTA and WKU are meeting for the first time and both are in a tight race in the conference standings. Both clubs are 13-11 in Sun Belt play, holding a tie for fourth place. Texas State, UTA's next SBC opponent, sits two games ahead of the Mavericks in a tie for second with Arkansas State.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Live video and audio is provided through Mavericks All-Access on www.UTAMavs.com. Monthly subscriptions to All-Access begin at $9.95 per month. Audio for this weekend's series is provided by UTA Radio. GameTracker is available via www.UTAMavs.com and game information can be found on Twitter @UTAMavs.
MILESTONE WATCH: (Career) DH Matt Shortall - 49 2B (T4th). Next: 4th Howard Prager (52).
(Career) Shortall - 23 HR (6th) w/Jason Smith. Next: 5th Richard Wilkinson (24).
(Career) Shortall - 336 TB (4th). Next: 3rd Darrell Preston (373).
(Season) Shortall - 22 2B (T2) w/Adam Moore/ Kasey Baker, Next: 1st Andrew Kainer (23).
(Career) P Chad Nack - 67 appearances (6th). Next: 5th Pierce Loveless (77)..
(Career) P Chase Weaver - 66 appearances (7th). Next: Nack.
(Season) OF Derek Miller - 14 HBP (T2), w/Brett Lewis. Next: 1st Dabby Slinkman (15).
THOMAS REACHES 200 WINS: UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas became UTA Baseball's second coach to reach 200 all-time wins. Thomas joined Butch McBroom (757-686-2) to achieve the feat in UTA's win against TWU on April 29.
TWICHELL HONORED: Senior outfielder John Michael Twichell was named the Sun Belt Conference Hitter of the Week on April 28 after hitting .417 during UTA's four-game road trip. He was also named College Sports Madness Sun Belt Player of the Week.
Twichell, a senior from Dallas, started just one of UTA's four games on the road, but had a big impact on each. Twichell ripped three home runs, scored four runs and added four RBI. Against Oklahoma, Twichell went 2-for-2 after pinch-hitting. He scored two runs in the contest and provided a RBI in UTA's 6-5 win.
Against Troy, he hit two homers, including a three-run homer, that each cleared the 35-foot wall in right field.
For the week, Twichell hit .417 with a slugging percentage at 1.250. He led the team with 15 total bases and was one of three UTA players to hit over .400 during the week.
MAVS SWEEP WEEKLY AWARDS: Along with sweeping South Alabama on March 29-30, the Mavericks earned both pitcher and player of the week in the Sun Belt Conference.
Ryan Bottger, a transfer from Bethany, Okla, helped the Mavericks spark a 4-0 week. Bottger opened the week with a 3-for-5 effort vs. Big 12 opponent Baylor as the Mavericks cruised to their largest win over the Bears since 1987. Bottger then helped UTA to its first-ever sweep of a SBC team when the Mavs took all three from South Alabama. The outfielder knocked in seven RBI in the series, scored two runs and was 4-for-12 during the trip with a homer and three walks. Bottger hit .412 over the week with nine RBI overall and scored five times.
Daniel Milliman, a senior from Fort Worth, Texas, provided UTA with a spark from the pitcher's mound after earning his second and third wins of the season in his first two starts. Milliman opened the week with a four-inning effort and departed with a big lead in Tuesday's contest vs. Baylor. He backed that start up with a key performance in the series finale against South Alabama when the right-hander pitched six innings of scoreless ball to help the Mavs sweep its first SBC series. Milliman allowed just three hits throughout his two starts and gave up just one run while striking out four and walking one. He finished with a 0.90 ERA for the week to improve to 3-0 for the season.
FEET FROM THE CYCLE: Designated hitter Matt Shortall was a few feet short of UTA's seventh all-time cycle in program history on March 22 vs. Arkansas State.
In his fifth at-bat of the contest, Shortall attempted to stretch out a double to the right-center field wall but was called out at third on the play.
Shortall was 5-for-5 to complete his second five-hit game of the season, third of his career.
RECORD SETTER: UTA's 19-inning game at McNeese State (2/21) is the longest game played in Mavericks' history.Justin Copeland tied a NCAA DI record, as well as set new a UTA and Sun Belt Conference record, with 10 at-bats. Shortall's four doubles set a new UTA all-time record and tied the SBC record.
The Mavs hit nine doubles as a team to tie a UTA record, now done twice with the last coming against TCU in 1993. Miller was hit by four pitches in the game to tie for second in the NCAA DI record books. Finally, McCall's 25 putouts ties him at sixth all-time in DI baseball history.
THIRD YEAR, THIRD CONFERENCE: The Mavericks baseball team will be in their third conference in as many years with the move to the Sun Belt Conference. UTA moved from the Southland Conference in 2012 to the Western Athletic Conference in 2013.
BACK-TO-BACK CHAMPIONSHIPS: UT Arlington finished the 2013 season with 31-27 record and a share of the Western Athletic Conference regular-season title. It was UTA's second consecutive championship (2012 SLC Tournament). McCall (second-team), Shortall (first-team) and Brad Vachon (second-team) earned All-WAC honors last season.
MAVS PICKED FIFTH IN PRESEASON: The Mavericks were picked to finish fifth in their first season in the Sun Belt Conference by league coaches.
PRESEASON PLAYER HONORS: Shortall was named to the 2014 Louisville Slugger preseason All-American third-team, as well as the preseason All-SBC team. Shortall and Vachon also earned preseason All-SBC honors from College Sports Madness.
HOME TICKETS: Single-game and season tickets for the UT Arlington 2014 baseball season are on sale at UTATickets.com or by calling 817-272-9595.