May 16, 2012
UT ARLINGTON vs. TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI PREVIEWUTA Probable Starting PitchersThursday: Lance Day (9-3, 3.06 ERA)Friday: Michael Oberto (0-1, 1.09 ERA)Saturday: John Beck (2-1, 3.96 ERA)
ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington (29-23, 16-14) finishes off its last Southland Conference series with a three-game set at Clay Gould Ballpark against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The first two games are Thursday and Friday night at 6:30 p.m., with the finale Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Mavericks are tied for fourth in the Southland Conference and need one victory (or one Northwestern State loss) to clinch a spot in the SLC Tourmament (May 23-26; San Marcos, TX). UTA is 58th in the latest NCAA Baseball RPI rankings.
Corpus Christi is 23-28 overall and seventh in the SLC at 14-16. UTA leads the all-time series against the Islanders 13-9.
BROADCAST INFO: UTA home games can be heard at www.utaradio.com
LAST TIME OUT: The Mavericks were swept for only the second time this season over the weekend at McNeese State. UTA received solid pitching, but scored only four runs over the three games and suffered several untimely errors.
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), TCU and No. 21 Sam Houston (twice).
...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).
SENIOR DAY: This weekend marks the final home games for a distinguished group of 10 seniors: Philip Incaviglia, Adam Boydston, Michael Oberto, Lance Day, Jordan Vaughn, Michael Morales, Collin Reynolds, Adam Westbrook, Preston Morrow and Michael Guerra. All 10 are on track to graduate.
DYNAMIC DUO AMONG THE BEST: RF Preston Beck and RHP Lance Day have been catalysts in UTA’s 29-23 start and rank among the nation’s and SLC’s leaders. Beck entered the week leading the SLC in RBI (52) and home runs (9). Day is second in the SLC lead in victories (9-3) and second in innings (97.0).
SAVE RECORD IN SIGHT FOR BOYDSTON: Senior closer Adam Boydston leads the team with five saves and is closing in on the career record of 23 set by Mike Snapp (2001-04). Boydston came into the second tied for third on the all-time list with 16 and now had 21 with three regular season games to go.
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.
MORE HONORS FOR BECK AND WALKER: College Sports Madness named Preston Beck the Madness Baseball Southland Player of the Week on April 23. Walker won the same award on May 8.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP BRIEFS:
Ryan Walker (SS) - Team-highs in average (.358), runs (44) and hits (77). Started all 52 games.
Jordan Vaughn (1B) - Started 50 games and is batting .272 with 52 hits and 24 RBI.
Preston Beck (RF) - Batting .323 with SLC-high 9 HRs, SLC-high 52 RBI and 61 hits.
Michael Guerra (2B) - Started 15 straight games since returning from injury and is hitting .284.
Preston Morrow (LF) - Has started 37 games and is hitting .333.
Jake Pinchback (DH) - Batting .254 in 17 starts with 15 runs and 18 hits.
Philip Incaviglia (CF) - Has 20 runs, 30 hits and has 99 putouts.
Greg McCall (C) - Started 41 games, has scored 15 runs, walked 19 times and has 35 assists.
Travis Sibley (3B) - Started 8 games, hitting .313 and has 22 assists.