Another losing streak has the UT Arlington baseball team in danger of missing out on the Sun Belt Tournament.
With only three weekends to go, the Mavericks sit outside the playoff picture but the schedule sets up well if they can take care of business.
UTA hosts back-to-back conference series’ beginning with a three-game set against Arkansas-Little Rock this weekend at Clay Gould Ballpark.
True to their place in the standings, the Mavericks have the fourth-worst team batting average and ERA in the Sun Belt. The good news? The final three Sun Belt teams UTA plays this season — UALR, Texas State and Appalachian State — are the three behind them in both categories.
It begins with UALR, which has a Sun-Belt worst 6.61 team ERA. The Mavericks can take control of their own fate with a big offensive weekend, and they’re seeing the emergence of freshman Christian Hollie, who’s hit .381 over the last 15 games.
The last time UTA hosted a weekend series, the Mavericks scored 31 runs to win two of three from Troy. But the current five-game losing streak in which UTA scored only nine runs has snuffed out any momentum.
But UALR is scuffling as well. Having lost their last six games, the Trojans haven’t won a Sun Belt game since April 11 but still find themselves with a chance to make the postseason.
Although they have a negative-89 run differential, the Trojans are .500 in Sun Belt play thanks to a 6-4 record in one-run games.
Race for eighth
The Mavericks are in a three-way tie for the eighth seed in the tournament with UL Monroe and Arkansas State. Both UTA and UL Monroe won the series over Arkansas State, but UL Monroe beat UTA and owns the tiebreaker.
Both sit at 8-13 in the Sun Belt so UTA needs to win one more than UL Monroe over the final nine conference games.
ESPN at Clay Gould
For the third time in the last 10 days, the Mavericks will be on ESPN. Saturday’s game will be televised on ESPN3. First pitch is at 2 p.m.
UTA vs. Arkansas-Little Rock
(At Clay Gould Ballpark)
6:30 p.m. Friday: RHP Chad Nack (3-4, 5.09) vs. LHP Jarrid Garcia (1-2, 4.22)
2 p.m. Saturday: LHP Brad Vassar (2-5, 4.02) vs. RHP Cory Malcom (4-2, 3.63)
1 p.m. Sunday: RHP Joel Kuhnel (2-2, 3.58) vs. RHP Sam Thoele (2-6, 5.50)
Records: UTA 17-26, 8-13 Sun Belt; UALR 14-25, 10-10 SBC