May 31, 2012
NCAA WACO REGIONAL PREVIEW
Friday, June 1st
1 p.m. – Game 1 (Dallas Baptist vs. UT Arlington)
6 p.m. – Game 2 (Baylor vs. Oral Roberts)
Saturday, June 2nd
2 p.m. – Game 3 (Loser G1 vs. Loser G2)
7 p.m. – Game 4 (Winner G1 vs. Winner G2)
Sunday, June 3rd
2 p.m. – Game 5 (Winner G3 vs. Loser G4)
7 p.m. – Game 6 (Winner G4 vs. Winner G5)
Monday, June 4th
6:30 p.m. – Game 7 (second game, if necessary)
ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington (36-23) enters the NCAA Waco Regional as the No. 3 seed after winning the Southland Conference Tournament Championship with a 13-4 victory over Southeastern Louisiana on May 26 in San Marcos, TX. The Mavericks swept through the four-day event with a perfect 4-0 record, running their overall winning streak to seven games.
UTA opens the double-elimination Waco Regional against No. 2 Dallas Baptist on Friday at 1 p.m. The Mavericks and Patriots met twice during the regular season. DBU won both games: 3-0 on May 1 and 12-6 on May 2. The Patriots lead the all-time series 31-28.
Fifth-year UT Arlington head coach Darin Thomas is looking forward to the weekend.
"It's a reward for winning some big games," he said. "We've got 36 wins, so we've had a really good year, but if we don't win the Southland Tournament, we probably don't get in. You want to be playing your best baseball at the end of the year and now we're going down there. The good thing is it's close to home, so hopefully we can get some fans down there."
The other two teams in the regional are No. 1 Baylor and No. 4 Oral Roberts. The Mavericks and Bears split two meetings, while UTA didn’t play ORU this season.
"It's very exciting. It's a very familiar opponent with DBU and Baylor," junior OF Preston Beck said. "I like the way we match up with those teams. I just hope we play in to the best of our abilities."
Senior ace Lance Day is starting against DBU. He didn't face the Patriots during the regular season.
"No question we know DBU," Day said. "They beat us pretty bad back-to-back days. What they showed us last year when we swept them, then they're in a Super Regional. It shows that if you get hot, anyone can make this run. We're just now heating up."
TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: Follow the Mavericks at 2012 NCAA Regional Central.
UTA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: The Mavericks are in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in school history. The other trips were made in 2006, 2001, 1992 and 1990. UTA’s all-time record in the NCAAs is 1-8.
2006: L, 9-1 Texas; L, 6-5 (10) North Carolina State
2001: L, 11-4 Rice; W, 7-6 Rice; L, 14-2 Rice
1992: L, 11-6 Creighton; L, 17-1 Texas
1990: L, 9-8 Texas; L, 8-5 Texas
SEASONS TO REMEMBER: The Mavericks’ 36 wins are sixth most all-time at UTA. A look at the best single-season records:
1992: 40-15 (SLC Champions, NCAA Tournament)
2001: 39-15 (SLC Tournament Champions, NCAA Tournament)
2012: 36-23 (SLC Tournament Champions, NCAA Tournament)
UTA IN THE SOUTHLAND TOURNAMENT: UT Arlington won four games in four days culminating with a 13-4 victory over Southeastern Louisiana for the championship. Freshman 3B Travis Sibley was named Tournament MVP. Sibley was joined on the All-Tournament team by sophomore C Greg McCall, senior 2B Michael Guerra, junior OF Preston Beck and senior P Lance Day.
Beck led the SLC in home runs (11) and RBI (60) during the regular season, while hitting .337. Beck’s numbers going into the NCAAs are 13 HR, 70 RBI and .335. On the school’s all-time single-season list, he’s set a new RBI record and is tied for sixth in homers.
Day tied for the SLC lead in wins (10-3), led in innings (105.0) and sported a 2.91 ERA during the regular season. His current 12-3 record is tied for the most single-season wins (Bruce Marshall, 1976; Steve Dearman, 1980) in school history.
Boydston leads the team with eight saves and set the career record with 24 with his save in the first game of the SLC Tournament. Mike Snapp (2001-04) held the previous career record with 23. Boydston came into the second tied for third all-time with 16.
Sophomore SS Ryan Walker currently has 89 hits, tied for fourth on the single-season list. The record is 97 set by Ryan Roberts in 2003. Walker also has 55 runs scored, which is one shy for 10th in one season.
ALL-SLC HONORS: Junior OF Preston Beck was named to the All-Southland Conference first team. Senior P Lance Day and sophomore SS Ryan Walker earned second-team honors. Senior 2B Michael Guerra and senior OF Preston Morrow were honorable mention.
HOW UTA STACKED UP IN THE SLC DURING THE REGULAR SEASON (12 Teams)
Team Batting Average: .273 (6th)
Team Pitching: 3.68 ERA (4th)
Team Fielding Percentage: .968 (4th)
Individual Batting Average: Ryan Walker, .358 (5th); Preston Beck, .335 (10th)
Individual Pitching: Lance Day, 2.91 ERA (10th); Day, 10-3 (T-1st, wins); Day, 105 IP (1st);
Adam Boydston, 7 saves (T-5th); Michael Morales, 24 appearances (T-7th)
Home Runs: Beck, 11 (1st)
RBI: Beck, 60 (1st)
Hits: Walker, 81 (1st)
Runs: Walker, 48 (1st)
Doubles: Michael Guerra, 14 (7th)
Total Bases: Beck, 115 (3rd)
On Base Percentage: Beck, .443 (4th)
Slugging Percentage: Beck, .575 (1st)
TO BE THE BEST YOU HAVE TO PLAY THE BEST: As has been tradition under coach Darin Thomas, UTA featured a tough schedule with 10 games vs. tournament teams from last year. UTA beat 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) In 2011, the Mavericks picked up six wins over nationally ranked teams and have now won 18 games versus top-25 teams during Darin Thomas’ five seasons.
SENIORS MOVING ON: This is the final season 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.
SHORTALL & BECK EARN SLC HITTING HONORS: Sophomore DH Matt Shortall was the first Southland Conference Hitter of the Week of the season. Junior RF Preston Beck was the SLC Hitter of the Week on March 5 and again on May 20.
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
Jake Pinchback (CF) - Batting .253 in 24 starts with 21 runs and 25 hits.
Ryan Walker (SS) - Team-highs in average (.368), runs (55) and hits (89). Started all 59 games.
Preston Beck (RF) - Batting .335 with SLC-high 13 HRs, school-record 70 RBI and 72 hits.
Michael Guerra (2B) - Started 55 games, hitting .293, has 16 doubles and 40 RBI.
Preston Morrow (LF) - Has played in 44 games and is hitting .313 with 45 hits and 20 RBI.
Matt Shortall (DH) - Hitting .262 with 5 HRs and 25 RBI.
Jordan Vaughn (1B) - Started 57 games and is batting .271 with 58 hits and 30 RBI.
Greg McCall (C) - Started 48 games, has scored 19 runs, walked 21 times and has 39 assists.
Travis Sibley (3B) - SLC Tournament MVP. Started 15 games, hitting .379 and has 38 assists.
ABOUT HEAD COACH Darin Thomas: Thomas is 148-140 (.514) in five seasons as head coach and has led the Mavericks to five consecutive seasons of 26 wins or more and the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the school’s first since 2006. He is in his 11th year on the UT Arlington staff. Out of the nine UTA players who have played in the Major Leagues, Thomas has coached six: Daniel Ortmeier (2000-02), Ryan Roberts (2002-03), Mark Lowe (2002, 2004), Hunter Pence (2003-04), Adam Moore (2006) and Dillon Gee (2005-07).