UTA baseball enters tough stretch trying to erase early disappointments

Posted Thursday, Mar. 06, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A

UTA Hilton Invitational

Clay Gould Ballpark

• Game 1 vs. Utah, 3 p.m. Friday: RHP Jess Amedee (1-1, 4.66) vs. RHP Mitch Watrous (0-2, 4.32)

• Game 2 vs. Missouri State, 3 p.m. Saturday: RHP Zach Thompson (0-2, 5.74) vs. LHP Matt Hall (1-1, 6.00)

• Game 3 vs. Abilene Christian, 3 p.m. Sunday

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

With five games over the next five days, the UT Arlington baseball team gets an opportunity to string some wins together before conference play begins next weekend.

Starting with this weekend’s UTA Hilton Invitational, the Mavericks will host Utah, Missouri State and Abilene Christian over the next four days at Clay Gould Ballpark.

They’ll then face Oklahoma at Globe Life Park in Arlington on Tuesday.

For coach Darin Thomas, it’s a chance to see how a disappointing 3-8 start affects his team that entered the season with high expectations. UTA is off to its worst start since opening the 2010 season 4-8.

“We’ve just got to execute a little better,” he said. “I think we’re hitting the ball pretty well. But any time you get behind in a game, it’s tough.”

Getting off to a strong start has been the Mavericks’ problem this season. Their Friday starters have struggled to set a tone for the first three weekends, getting pounded for 20 runs in the 12 innings they’ve lasted.

Primary Friday starter Brad Vachon hasn’t been on his normal Friday schedule since he was pounded for seven earned runs in two innings on opening day. He’s pitched in two midweek games and was scheduled to pitch on the last two Sundays, but both games were rained out.

The burden then fell on Zach Thompson, who struggled to produce a quality start in both of his Friday starts. Thomas is giving Jess Amedee the start Friday against Utah, hoping he can start this weekend with a strong outing.

“He’s earned it,” Thomas said. “He’s pitched great for us against some pretty good teams.”

Amedee is coming off a quality start against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi last weekend in which he allowed two runs into the seventh inning. The further into tonight’s game he gets, the lighter the load will be on the UTA bullpen. With five games in a row, every little bit helps.

Greg McCall has been swinging the hottest bat in the Mavericks lineup. He’s belted three homers over the past week — including one at Globe Life Park — and is starting to emerge as a steady voice in the dugout.

“We’ve got a few things to build on and this is all getting us ready for conference play,” he said.

Thomas said his team could use a few more players like McCall to step into leadership roles, but said he understands that some players simply don’t have that personality.

Even though his team is 1-5 at home this season, Thomas remained steadfast that his team will emerge from its season-long slumber and piece together a win streak.

With conference play one weekend away, the opportunity sits right in front of UTA.

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?





Tuesday, September 02Full Scoreboard
Cincinnati 9/2 7:05 PM ET
Baltimore TV: FSN-OH, MASN
Detroit 9/2 7:05 PM ET
Cleveland TV: FSN-DET, STO
Boston 9/2 7:05 PM ET
NY Yankees TV: NESN, YES
Philadelphia 9/2 7:10 PM ET
Atlanta TV: CSN-PHI, SPSO
NY Mets 9/2 7:10 PM ET
Miami TV: SNY, FSN-FL
Toronto 9/2 7:10 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: SNET, Sun Sports
Milwaukee 9/2 8:05 PM ET
Chicago Cubs TV: FSN-WI, CSN-CHI+
LA Angels 9/2 8:10 PM ET
Houston TV: FSN-W, CSN-HOU
Texas 9/2 8:10 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FSN-SW, FSN-KC
Chicago WSox 9/2 8:10 PM ET
Minnesota TV: CSN-CHI, FSN-N
Pittsburgh 9/2 8:15 PM ET
St. Louis TV: ROOT-PIT, FSN-MW
San Francisco 9/2 8:40 PM ET
Colorado TV: CSN-BA, ROOT-RM
Seattle 9/2 10:05 PM ET
Oakland TV: ROOT-NW, CSN-CA
Washington 9/2 10:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: MASN 2, SportsNet LA
Arizona 9/2 10:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 02Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 1Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
Seattle TV: NBC
Sunday
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: CBS
New England 1:00 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:25 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Carolina 4:25 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Indianapolis 8:30 PM ET
Denver TV: NBC
Monday
NY Giants 7:10 PM ET
Detroit TV: ESPN
San Diego 10:20 PM ET
Arizona TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 02Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard