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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Trailing in the race for the regular-season championship by one game, UTA concludes its schedule with three games at Texas State, starting on Thursday at 6 p.m. CT at Bobcat Field. The series will resume on Friday at 6 p.m. and conclude on Saturday at 1 p.m. Thursday's series opener is slated for a broadcast live on Spectrum Sports.
UTA (29-22, 19-8 Sun Belt Conference) faces off with Texas State (25-28, 11-16 Sun Belt) sitting a game behind South Alabama (20-7) in the race for the league title and half a game behind Coastal Carolina (19-7-1). The Mavs sport a 3.5 game lead over Louisiana (16-10-1) in the Western Division and need a win in the series vs. TXST or a Ragin' Cajuns loss in its series vs. ULM (6-21) to clinch the division. South Alabama faces Troy (15-12) and Appalachian State (8-19) takes on Coastal Carolina to conclude the regular season.
UTA takes an 11-1 record in league road games into the finale series in San Marcos. The Mavs are a program-best 16-6 on the road in 2017 and have won 10 straight road league games. UTA's lone road loss came in a 2-1 setback at Georgia State on league-opening weekend.
PROJECTED PITCHING MATCHUPS
Thursday at Texas State
Sr., RHP Kadon Simmons (7-3, 4.04 ERA) vs. TBD
Friday at Texas State
Jr., RHP Trae Patterson (6-3, 2.42 ERA) vs. TBD
Saturday at Texas State
Jr., LHP Jakob Hernandez (6-1, 3.28 ERA) vs. TBD
LEADING THE MAVS
UTA has hit .275 as a team in 2017 in 51 games, scoring 272 runs with 74 doubles, owning nine triples, 25 homers and a .365 on-base percentage, stealing 39 bases. Defensively, UTA has fielded .972, turning 45 double plays and throwing out 18 would-be basestealers. On the mound, the Mavs have a 3.88 team ERA in 456.2 innings, leading the league with 18 saves, walking 155 and striking out 384.
Sophomore C/IF Will Olson leads the team with a .319 average, owning seven doubles, two homers and 27 RBI, sporting a .430 on-base percentage. Junior 1B/OF Omar Salinas has hit .316 with 11 doubles, eight homers, 40 RBI, 32 walks, a .514 slugging and a .429 on-base percentage. Senior OF/IF Quintin Rohrbaugh has batted .313 with nine doubles, two triples, four homers and 35 RBI, stealing six bases with a .425 on-base percentage. Freshman IF Zac Cook has hit .309 with four doubles and eight RBI, sophomore RF Aaron Funk has hit .308 with four doubles, two triples and a homer, driving in 13 runs. Junior IF Easton Johnson has started 43 games and hit .280 with five doubles and 17 RBI and junior IF/OF Christian Hollie sports a .275 average with two doubles, one triple, three homers and 14 RBI in 24 starts. Junior CF Phil Berthiaume has hit for a .267 average with a homer and 11 RBI and junior SS RJ Williams has charted a .241 average with 10 doubles and 22 RBI. Sophomore OF/1B Noah Vaughan has hit .244 with eight doubles, two triples and six homers, driving in 32 runs and stealing 10 bases. Senior IF/C Brady Cox has hit .234 with nine doubles and 16 RBI.
In relief, right-handers Austin Gardner (2-1, 2.52 ERA) and Daniel James (0-2, 3.46 ERA), and lefty Adam Meyer (0-3, 2.55 ERA) have formed a strong late-inning tandem. Lefties Jake Wilcox (2-1, 7.41 ERA) and Brad Vassar (3-2, 8.35 ERA), and righties Dylan Schneider (1-2, 4.08 ERA), Jordon West (0-2, 7.04 ERA) and Matt Michalski (0-2, 8.04 ERA) have each appeared in double-digit games.
SCOUTING THE BOBCATS
Texas State has hit .284 as a team, scoring 352 runs in 53 games, ripping 1010 doubles, nine triples and 42 homers, stealing 82 bases. Defensively, TXST has committed 68 errors and thrown out 22 runners. On the mound, the Bobcats have a 5.69 team ERA in 471.1 innings, owning two saves, walking 278 and striking out 342.
At the dish, Theodore Hoffman has hit .335 with 16 doubles, one triple and 13 homers, driving in 46 runs with 14 steals. Jonathan Ortega has hit .332 with 12 doubles, three triples and six homers, driving in 42 runs with 20 steals. Dylan Paul has hit .320 with nine doubles, two triples, one homer and 25 RBI. Luke Sherley has charted a .314 average with a homer and 23 RBI, Jaylen Hubbard has hit .292 with 11 doubles, two homers and 40 RBI and Jacob Almendarez owns two doubles and 18 RBI. Ryan Newman sports a .289 average with ix homers and 29 RBI and Derek Scheible has added 14 doubles, seven homers and 30 RBI, stealing 12 bases.
In relief, Joe Powell (1-2, 1.99 ERA), Brayden Theriot 4-1, 4.40 ERA), Broc Bosse (2-0, 4.50 ERA), Blake Walden (5-1, 4.78 ERA), Zachary Leigh (0-0, 5.40 ERA), Cam Baird (1-6, 5.40 ERA), Quinn Atwood (0-0, 6.14 ERA), Wes Engle (2-2, 6.57 ERA), Anthony Pagano (2-3, 6.61 ERA), Shane Daughety (0-0, 6.75 ERA) and Brandon Courville (2-4, 7.05 ERA) have each appeared in double-digit games.
Texas State leads the all-time series with UTA, 63-43, including a 30-15 mark in games played in San Marcos. In a series that dates back to 1985, UTA has won just one in the last five games. UTA's last series win over TXST came in 2014 in Arlington, a sweep. The Mavs are seeking their first series win in San Marcos since a sweep in 1994.
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