UTA baseball hoping to continue hot hitting

Posted Friday, Feb. 28, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Western Kentucky at UT Arlington men

7:30 p.m. Saturday

College Park Center

Radio: KHVN 970 AM

Records: UTA 12-15, 7-8 Sun Belt; WKU 19-9, 11-4

UTA vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

At Clay Gould Ballpark

Game 1: 6:30 p.m. Friday (Zach Thompson vs. Matt Danton)

Game 2: 1 p.m. Saturday (Jess Amedee vs. Trevor Belicek)

Game 3: 4 p.m. Saturday (TBA vs. Devin Skapura)

Game 4: 1 p.m. Sunday (Brad Vachon vs. TBA)

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While UT Arlington’s 10-2 win over No. 12 TCU may have caught the attention of the college baseball world, coach Darin Thomas just saw it as a good win for a team that’s finally putting things together.

“That’s just baseball,” he said. “We’re starting to get some two-out hits, which is good to see.”

His Mavericks hope to stay hot at the plate when they return to Clay Gould Ballpark for a four-game series with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi that starts Friday.

UTA started the season 0-4 before earning a monumental win Friday by outlasting McNeese State 9-8 in the longest game in UTA history. The 19-inning contest set a number of team and individual school records.

Crucial to that first win was pitcher Chase Weaver, a Richardson High School product, who threw 71/3 innings with the game on the line and allowed only one unearned run.

“Weaver’s been really good out of the bullpen for us,” Thomas said. “That’s what you want to see out of a senior.”

Weaver also finished off TCU on Tuesday night and could play a role in this weekend’s four-game series instead of the normal three.

That extra game adds a little pressure on UTA’s starting rotation, which will need to eat up as many innings as possible to save bullpen arms.

They’ll get a struggling Islanders lineup that has failed to score more than four runs in a game since opening weekend.

With only eight extra-base hits in their first 10 games, they’ve come to rely on their rotation to keep them in games.

Matt Danton and Devin Skapura have shined for TAMU-CC, but Trevor Belicek was the preseason conference pitcher of the year in the Southland Conference.

There’s no easy break in the Islanders rotation, but if UTA keeps hitting with runners on base like it has over the last three games, Thomas feels the Mavericks should be in good shape.

“We’ll keep putting together good at-bats,” Thomas said. “I don’t think it’s going to be a problem in the long run.”

Since starting with just three extra-base hits in their first four games, the Mavericks have belted out 14 in their last three.

Following this weekend series, the Mavericks will face Texas A&M at Globe Life Park in Arlington on Tuesday.

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