College Baseball

UTA baseball looks to clean up errors against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

RJ Williams and the rest of the UT Arlington defense have committed 15 errors this season.
RJ Williams and the rest of the UT Arlington defense have committed 15 errors this season. Special to the Star-Telegram

Last season, weekend rains washed out all but one game of a four-game series with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

With only a small chance of rain on Sunday, that shouldn’t be an issue this season when the Islanders come to Clay Gould Ballpark.

UT Arlington (5-4) enters the weekend coming off a 13-5 win over Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday, but the Mavericks have several things to clean up in the field. They’ve allowed 38 earned runs on the season, but 15 errors in their first nine games have led to 19 unearned runs.

19Unearned runs in nine games given up by a UTA defense that has committed 15 errors.

Most of those errors are coming from Christian Hollie and RJ Williams, who are adjusting to their new infield spots after spending last season in the outfield. They’ve combined for 11 errors after committing only three in 104 games last season.

“We’ve got to play better defense,” coach Darin Thomas said. “We’ve got three guys that we can use on that left side of the infield, so we’re going to start rotating them in and out as we need to.”

The other guy is freshman Josh Minjarez, an All-West Texas player from San Angelo Central who has a steady glove at shortstop.

“He was a very good shortstop in high school and we want to get him some playing time to see if he can help us,” Thomas said.

But it’s hard to keep Williams out of the lineup, which is why he’ll shift to third base when Minjarez gets a start. Williams is fresh off a red-hot week where he went 8 for 15 and scored seven runs in the last four games. He’s now batting .419, good for eighth in the Sun Belt.

His 11 runs this year are two behind Matt McLean, UTA’s leadoff hitter who’s batting .355 with nine walks. They pace a UTA lineup that’s third in the Sun Belt in batting average.

Sophomore infielder RJ Williams went 8 for 15 and scored seven runs in his last four games. He’s now batting .419, good for eighth in the Sun Belt.

Until they stop committing nearly 1 1/2 errors per game, however, winning will be tough no matter how well they hit.

Pitcher Joel Kuhnel (1-1, 1.54 ERA) will try to start the weekend off on the right foot against an Islanders lineup that’s hitting .265 on the year.

In his last start, Louisiana Tech scattered seven hits and scored four runs — two earned — in 5 2/3 innings off Kuhnel.

Adam Meyer (1-0, 1.80) and Kadon Simmons (2-1, 5.79) will start Saturday’s doubleheader. Simmons is making his third start of the year, while Meyer is getting a look in the rotation before conference play begins. Austin Gardner (1-0, 5.79) will pitch on Sunday.

TAMU-CC (4-4), which snapped a three-game losing streak with a 15-5 win over Houston-Victoria on Wednesday, is taking its first road trip this seasonr.

UTA vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

6:30 p.m. Friday, noon and 3 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday

  Comments