BASEBALL OPENS FALL PRACTICE
Oct. 30, 2006
ARLINGTON, Texas - After spending the last couple of months working on strength and conditioning, the UT Arlington baseball team will take to the field for their three weeks of fall practice beginning Oct. 30. The team will not hold a world series at the end, but instead hold daily scrimmages at Clay Gould Ballpark. Practices are set to begin at 2:30 p.m.
"Our entire staff is extremely excited to begin team workouts," said sixth-year head coach Jeff Curtis. "The players have been working hard and are looking forward to the next three weeks. We have a lot of players coming back and some newcomers that can step in and play. This will be a great opportunity for these guys to show that they deserve to be in the lineup everyday."
The Mavericks are coming off a season in which they captured the Southland Conference Tournament championship and advanced to NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in school history. UTA dropped a decision to host Texas in the opener before suffering a heart-breaking extra-inning loss to North Carolina State.
The Mavs will have to replace their top two hitters from a season ago as SLC Newcomer of the Year Adam Moore was selected in the sixth round of First Year Major League Baseball player draft and Robby Winn transferred due to academic reasons. The Mavs return seven starters with senior second baseman Daniel Rieder as the top returning hitter at .318. First baseman/designated hitter Ben Burum and shortstop Kyle Rudy joined Rieder with four home runs last season.
On the mound, senior Chris Taylor, junior Dillon Gee and sophomore Kyle Gainley combined for 15 wins and nine saves a season ago and should bolster the starting staff again this season. Sophomores Brandon Endsley and Nathan Long will supply some solid relief in 2007.
UTA should get some from 14 newcomers this season. A pair of freshman, Chad Comer and David Masters will battle it out for the starting catching position, while freshman Travis Sample and junior college transfer Jeff Storms will battle for playing time over at the hot corner. UTA also brought in some talented arms that could battle for a place in the starting rotation in right handers Andy Sauter and Kendal Carrillo and left hander Colt Simon, while right hander P.J. Burns will look to assume the closer duties.
The Mavs will open the 2007 season on Feb. 6 as they take on Texas. The game will be played at Dell Diamond in Round Rock and mark the first time in 66 meetings that game will not be played at Disch-Falk Field.