UT Arlington hopes to keep finding ways to win

Posted Tuesday, May. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
More information WAC Baseball Tournament At QuikTrip Park, Grand Prairie Pool A No. 1 CSU Bakersfield No. 4 UT-San Antonio No. 5 Sacramento State No. 8 San Jose State Pool B No. 2 UTA No. 3 Texas State No. 6 New Mexico State No. 7 Dallas Baptist Wednesday UTA vs. Dallas Baptist: RHP Brad Vachon (6-4, 3.45) vs. RHP Cy Sneed (4-3, 5.11), 7 p.m. Friday UTA vs. New Mexico State: RHP Zach Thompson (6-4, 5.24) vs. TBD, 3 p.m. Saturday UTA vs. Texas State: TBD vs. TBD, 7 p.m.

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Nobody can say the UT Arlington baseball team didn’t earn it.

The Mavericks lost their best hitter to the MLB draft, their top pitcher graduated and they were picked to finish sixth in a new conference this season. They underwent a stretch in April and May where they missed a key part of their lineup and they never found a Sunday starter.

But with a weekend sweep of Sacramento State and a pair of losses from CSU Bakersfield, the Mavericks won a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship, a first for coach Darin Thomas.

“This probably isn’t the most talented team we’ve ever had here, but we just always found a way to get it done when we needed to,” Thomas said. “That says something about where we are as a program.”

This week at QuikTrip Park, the Mavericks have been placed in a four-team pool with New Mexico State, Texas State and Dallas Baptist with the WAC tournament title and a berth in the NCAA regionals on the line. They face Dallas Baptist at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

While it’s a pseudo-home tournament for the Mavericks, they won the conference on the strength of their ability to win on the road. They won five of their last six conference games away from home.

“We always found a way to play well on the road,” Thomas said. “That’s the biggest thing that helped us win a championship.”

Thomas has never had to guide his team through a conference tournament with the unique pool-play setup that the WAC tournament offers. In rolling through last season’s Southland Conference tournament, UTA simply had to win four consecutive games in a single-elimination bracket.

Although there’s room for a loss over the next few days, UTA would prefer to not put its season’s fate in the hands of someone else. For Thomas, he’d just as well win all four games.

“We’ll try to win the first two games and if we don’t, we’ll have to hope a little bit,” Thomas said.

Given that the Mavericks only have two entrenched starting pitchers — Brad Vachon and Zach Thompson — a loss to Dallas Baptist or New Mexico State would put their season in the hands of a spot starter needing a win against Texas State and a break to advance.

Both starters will have to shut down two of the more potent offenses in the conference, although both teams’ numbers were inflated by hitter-friendly ballparks. Vachon threw 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball against Dallas Baptist earlier this season.

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Cincinnati «4Final | Box
Chicago Cubs1
Toronto1Bottom 4th | Box
Cleveland0@theBallpark | TV: SNET, STO
Milwaukee3Bottom 4th | Box
Pittsburgh2@theBallpark | TV: FSN-WI, ROOT-PIT
St. Louis1Top 5th | Box
Washington1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-MW, MASN 2
LA Angels4Bottom 3rd | Box
Detroit0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-W, FSN-DET
Baltimore4Top 4th | Box
Boston0@theBallpark | TV: MLB Network, MASN, NESN
Seattle2Bottom 3rd | Box
Miami4@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, FSN-FL
Atlanta1Top 5th | Box
NY Mets0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-S, SNY
NY Yankees4Top 4th | Box
Tampa Bay0@theBallpark | TV: MLB Net, YES, Sun Sports
Chicago WSox0Bottom 1st | Box
Texas0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-CHI, TXA-21
Minnesota0Top 1st | Box
Kansas City0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-N, FSN-KC
Philadelphia 4/18 8:40 PM ET
Houston 4/18 10:05 PM ET
Arizona 4/18 10:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: FSN-AZ, SportsNet LA
San Francisco 4/18 10:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: CSN-BA, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Full Scoreboard
No games this week
Full Scoreboard
Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Montreal12nd Prd 13:42 | Box
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Montreal leads series, 1-0.
Detroit02nd Prd | Box
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/18 10:00 PM ET
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Anaheim leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard