College Baseball

UT Arlington baseball set to host Texas for first time

Darien McLemore and UT Arlington have won six of their past eight games.
Darien McLemore and UT Arlington have won six of their past eight games. Special to the Star-Telegram

For the first time, UT Arlington will host Texas in a baseball game.

And since everything is bigger in Texas, the Mavericks traded their home park in favor of Globe Life Park for a showdown with the Longhorns. The game begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“They’re an RPI builder,” coach Darin Thomas said. “If we can sneak a win in on them, that’ll really help us down the road.”

Having never played Texas (13-7, 2-1 Big 12) outside of Austin — except for a game in Round Rock — the Mavericks (9-7, 4-2 Sun Belt) are playing well enough to give themselves a shot to beat the No. 16 Longhorns. They’ve won six of their last eight games and are getting early returns from a heralded freshman class.

Eight new pitchers have delivered a 3.37 ERA over the last 10 days. And sure enough, it’ll be freshman Reid Petty (Mansfield HS) taking the mound against the powerful Longhorns lineup.

They’re led by Ben Johnson, who’s hitting .432 with three homers to lead the Longhorns to six wins in their last seven games. They’re hitting .275 as a team and they have a plus-51 run differential in 20 games.

“It’s a big game for us, but we’ve also already played TCU and we’ll play Baylor and Texas A&M too,” Thomas said. “We play tough teams every year, and our guys understand that.”

Petty has allowed only two runs in 9 1/3 innings, striking out nine and walking two in three appearances. He’ll be pitted against Kacy Clemens, son of Roger Clemens. Clemens has a 6.19 ERA in four appearances.

The Mavericks have hosted TCU and Oklahoma at Globe Life Park over the last two years. Following Tuesday’s game, the Mavericks will host Dallas Baptist at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

UT Arlington vs. Texas

6 p.m. Tuesday, Globe Life Park

RHP Reid Petty (1-0, 1.93) vs. RHP Kacy Clemens (1-1, 6.19)

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