June 12, 2009
ARLINGTON, Texas - The first trio in UT Arlington baseball history to hit over .400 in a season received South Central All-Region honors by the American Baseball Coaches Association on Friday. Seniors Matt Otteman (outfield) and Andrew Kainer (designated hitter) were named first team All-Region and sophomore Michael Choice was named a second team outfielder. First team picks are now in consideration for the ABCA All-America team that will be announced at a later time.
Choice, Otteman and Kainer - the Mavericks 3-4-5-hole hitters, became the first Mavericks in school history to all hit over .400 in the same season. In fact, prior to 2009, only three players in UT Arlington's 41-year baseball history had ever hit .400 in a single-season.
Otteman had a historic season batting .432 (led the Southland Conference) with 95 base hits, 15 doubles, eight triples, nine home runs and 69 RBI. His batting average, triples and base hits are all ranked second in UTA single-season history while his 69 RBI tied a school record and ranked second in the SLC this season. Otteman's .432 average is the highest in the SLC since 1993 and the third highest all-time.
Otteman started the season with the longest hitting streak in the nation - 26 games - while at the time tying the all-time school record set by Clay Gould in 1993.
The player responsible for breaking Otteman's then-tying all-time school record hit streak was teammate Andrew Kainer, who broke not only the UT Arlington all-time record but the Southland Conference mark with a 36-game hit streak that lasted two months of the season (March 7-May 8). Kainer was third in the SLC batting .417 with 85 base hits (tied for seventh in school-history), five home runs and 46 RBI. Kainer led the team with 14 stolen bases and his 23 doubles set a new UTA single-season record.
Choice, the SLC Freshman of the Year in 2008, led the team in home runs (11) for the second straight season while also scoring 64 runs (third in school history) and posting a .413 batting average (fifth in school history). He tallied 93 base hits to become the third player in school history to have at least 90 in a single-season. Choice also joined the UT Arlington all-time record book by becoming the sixth player in school history to hit for the cycle as he went 4-for-4 with five RBI against Northwood (4/21) this season.
In addition, Choice was one of 41 collegiate players invited to the 2009 USA Baseball National Team (Collegiate) Trials that are scheduled for June 14-24 at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
All three players were named first team All-SLC after the conclusion of the regular season.