Oct. 8, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington baseball has begun fall practices with a number of new faces, along with plenty of experience. Workouts are taking place at Clay Gould Ballpark and the adjacent indoor facility.
"So far, so good," UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said. "Pitching is probably ahead of the hitting right now. We haven't seen a lot of live pitching so far."
Thomas has been pleased with the practices, noting the good weather and overall health of the club. The Mavericks are taking part in several intrasquad scrimmages.
"We'll usually do some kind of team activity at the beginning (of practice) and then we'll intrasquad six to eight innings," Thomas said. "We'll try to go five days a week, but it depends on the pitching."
Thomas said senior John Michael Twichell is likely moving to the outfield, opening up first base for junior transfer Levi Scott. The catching depth behind last season's starter, senior Greg McCall, has improved with freshman Brady Cox and junior Dalton DeLeon.
Thomas likes the completion that's surfaced in the pitching staff.
"I like the pitchers we have coming back and I like our new guys," he said. "They're going to provide some depth and also push some of our returners."
The Mavericks return 17 letter winners from a team that went 31-27 in 2013 and claimed a share of the WAC regular-season championship. Thomas welcomes in a 16-member recruiting class for the first season in the Sun Belt.
The Mavericks have won conference titles the last two years, winning the Southland Conference Tournament championship in 2012. Being competitive right off the bat in the SBC is a definite goal.
"We know we're getting into a tough conference with the Sun Belt," Thomas said. "Four teams made the regionals last year. It's known for baseball. We know it's going to be tough.
"I feel good about our team this year. We've got seven returning position guys that played quite a bit and seven returning pitchers that pitched quite a bit, and I like our new guys so far. We're going to have to up our level."