UT Arlington heads to Seattle looking to stay atop WAC baseball standings

Posted Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
More information UTA (20-16, 9-3 WAC) at Seattle (13-22, 3-8) Bannerwood Park, Bellevue, Wash. Game 1: 8 p.m. Friday, UTA RHP Brad Vachon (4-2, 2.48) vs. RHP Ted Hammond (1-4, 5.11) Game 2: 4 p.m. Saturday, UTA RHP Zach Thompson (4-2, 5.05) vs. LHP Garrett Anderson (2-5, 4.91) Game 3: 2 p.m. Sunday, UTA LHP Chase Weaver (2-0, 3.82) vs. RHP Skyler Genger (3-4, 3.92)

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The UT Arlington baseball team keeps racking up conference wins and finds itself at the top of the Western Athletic Conference standings, even if its midweek track record leaves something to be desired.

After dropping its sixth midweek game of the year to TCU on Tuesday, the Mavericks travel 2,100 miles to the Puget Sound — the farthest they’ve ever traveled for a baseball game — for a weekend series with Seattle. The first pitch will be at 8 p.m. Friday.

The Mavericks will look to pounce on a Redhawks team that has won only three of its past 12 games, and ranks at or near the bottom of the WAC in most offensive categories, except home runs. Seattle has some power and a little bit of speed, but it hasn’t been able to tie everything together with clutch hitting so far this season.

Two hitters, Nate Roberts and Sean Narby, carry the Seattle offense by combining for 49 of the Redhawks’ 165 RBIs. Roberts (.308) has a pair of homers and seven steals, while Narby has four homers and five steals.

The Redhawks’ pitching staff doesn’t strike out many hitters, and the team’s .961 fielding percentage is second-worst in the WAC. That bodes well for UTA, which doesn’t strike out too often. Opposing hitters are hitting .303 against Seattle.

UTA scored 26 runs last weekend against San Jose State’s similarly woeful rotation, but they all came at Clay Gould Ballpark on three consecutive warm days. The weekend forecast in Seattle calls for showers and temperatures in the mid-50s, not ideal for a Texas team in April.

This is the first meeting between the teams, and with UTA leaving for the Sun Belt, it could be the last.

Chasing hitting crown

Matt Shortall has a chance to finish the season as the WAC’s leading hitter. Hitting .379, the junior sits behind UTSA’s Daniel Rockett (.402) and New Mexico State’s Tanner Rust ( .386) in the batting race.

Shortall has three homers and 38 RBIs, only five fewer than NMSU’s Robert Lecount.

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