BSB: UTA hosts Texas State to close regular season
May 14, 2014
UT Arlington (27-25, 16-11 SBC) vs. Texas State (28-23, 16-11 SBC)
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington closes out the season with Texas State in a three-game Sun Belt Conference to decide positioning in the SBC Championship next week.
The Mavericks have clinched at least the No. 4 seed in the tournament and could position themselves as high as second. To do so, UTA would need to end a four-game losing streak to the Bobcats. The Mavs were swept in San Marcos to begin SBC play and were eliminated from the WAC Tournament by Texas to end the 2013 season.
The winner of this weekend's series will finish no worse than third to end the season.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Live video can be found via UTA All-Access by subscription at UTAMavs.com. GameTracker is available via www.UTAMavs.com and game information can be found on Twitter @UTAMavs.
MAVS OFFENSE AT THE TOP OF THE NATION: The Mavericks entered the week in the top 25 nationally in seven major team offensive categories. UTA is sixth in doubles (112), seventh in hits (560), 11th in home runs (41), 13th in slugging percentage (.435), 22nd in batting average (.299), 23rd in runs (324) and 25th in on-base percentage (.385).
Matt Shortall is fifth in doubles (22), fifth in total bases (136), 10th in hits (81), 32nd in RBI (49), 40th in SLG% (.594) and 42nd in home runs (9). Ryan Bottger is 43rd in SLG% (.590), 46th in OBP (.465), 64th in doubles (16), 64th in total bases (105) and 72nd in batting average (.365). John Michael Twichell is 56th in walks (34), and 97th in homers (7) and OBP (.450). Derek Miller is 55th in hits (69), 62nd in runs (45), 76th in hit by pitch (14) and 93rd in doubles (15). Greg McCall checks in 70th in homers (8).
SENIOR WEEKEND: The Texas State series also marks the final home games for seniors Chase Weaver, Brandon Vinyard, Brad Vachon, John Michael Twichell, Matt Shortall, Daniel Milliman, Greg McCall, Keegan Hucul, Peter Cuomo and Justin Copeland. In addition, redshirt junior Kasey Merck is graduating and will forgo his final season of eligibility.
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.
BOTTGER EARNS 2ND POW AWARD: Ryan Bottger played a part in 10 of the 18 overall runs UTA scored in the weekend Sun Belt sweep of WKU. Bottger belted homers in each of the first two games, pushing his season total to six.
He provided two RBI and two runs in the first two contests and was 4-for-7. In the finale, Bottger reached twice, one coming on a hit and one coming on a walk. Overall, Bottger hit .455 in the series with six RBI, two homers, four runs and five hits.
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.