May 19, 2003
ARLINGTON, Texas...The University of Texas at Arlington senior third baseman Ryan Roberts was named the 2003 Southland Conference Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year league officials announced Monday. Roberts is one of 11 Mavericks to be honored by the league.
Along with those honors, Roberts was selected as a first team all-SLC third baseman and was joined on the first team by outfielder Hunter Pence. Second baseman Chris Taylor, designated hitter Kasey Baker and pitcher Aaron Pullin were selected to the second team. Outfielder Robby Deevers and pitchers Ricky Stover and Charlie Coffey represent the Mavericks on the third team, while first baseman Darrell Preston, shortstop Aaron Batlle and catcher Dustin Bozarth were honorable mention all-SLC selections.
Roberts, last season's Newcomer of the Year, became the first player in SLC history to be named the Player of the Year one season after being named the Newcomer of the Year. He joins the late Clay Gould as the only two Mavericks to be named the SLC POY. He also joins Trey Hillman as the only two UTA players to be named the SLC HOY. Roberts earned this honor after finishing the regular season batting .413 with 14 home runs and 62 runs batted in. Roberts impressive numbers do not stop there as he owns a .745 slugging percentage, .508 on-base percentage, 86 hits, 62 runs scored, 38 walks and 155 total bases. He ranks at or near the top in each of the major offensive categories in the SLC.
Pence, a sophomore transfer from Arlington, was named to the first team after hitting .347 with seven home runs and 37 runs batted in. Pence is tied for the conference lead with six triples. Pence collected a career-high five RBI in a victory over Oklahoma in which he hit home runs in each of his first two at-bats.
Taylor, a senior transfer from Arvada, Colo., received second team honors after ranking second on the team with a .358 average, eight home runs, 52 RBI, 81 hits, 17 doubles, a .549 slugging percentage and 124 total bases. Taylor put his name in the UTA record books when collected three doubles in a game against New Mexico State.
Baker, a junior from Houston, was named to the second team after hitting .355 with three home runs, 32 RBI, 49 runs scored and a new single season record 22 doubles. Baker became the single season double's leader when he collected two doubles in a victory over Lamar on Friday. Baker capped off the day by adding his name to the record books a second time by finishing the game with five hits.
Pullin, a senior from Midland, earned his second straight second team honor after compiling a 7-2 record with a 4.57 ERA in 2003. Pullin started a team high 15 games, with one complete game, and leads the team with 90.2 innings pitched and 51 strikeouts. In 2002, Pullin finished with an 8-1 record and won the SLC ERA title with a 2.48 ERA.
Deevers, a senior from Elgin, Okla., was named to the third team after hitting .288 with eight home runs and 42 runs batted in. Deevers biggest asset it his play in center field and his strong throwing arm. On the season, Deevers has 10 outfield assists and has 15 in his two years at UTA. Deevers also leads the team with 19 stolen bases in only 21 attempts.
Stover, junior from Rockwall, garnered third team laurels after finishing the regular season with a 6-0 record and a 3.73 ERA, with two complete games. Stover's best game of the season came in a no decision when he went eight strong scoreless innings at then No. 2 Rice limiting the Owls to six hits.
Coffey, a junior from Mesquite, made the switch from the bullpen to a starter at the beginning of conference play and has compiled a record of 6-4 with a 4.73 ERA to earn third team honors. Coffey has made nine starts on the season and 10 appearances out of the bullpen with one save. He is no stranger to being moved into the starting rotation midway through the 2001 season.
Preston, a junior from Mt. Vernon, was named honorable mention all-SLC by swinging one of the hottest bats on the team over the last month and raised his average to .320 with three home runs and 34 RBI. Preston is second on the team with 28 walks and has only struck out 18 times in 172 at-bats.
Batlle, a sophomore from Arlington, earned honorable mention honors by owning a .975 fielding percentage after moving into the starting shortstop position for the Mavs. At the plate, Batlle owns a .287 average with two home runs and 19 RBI.
Bozarth, a senior from Oklahoma City, Okla., earned honorable mention laurels after starting 54 games behind the plate. On the season, Bozarth owns a .281 average with one home run and 23 RBI. He has thrown out 16 attempting base stealers.
The Mavericks return to action on Wednesday, May 21, as they open up the Southland Conference Tournament against Northwestern State at 3 p.m. at Indian Field in Monroe, Louisiana.