March 19, 2018
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- UTA baseball will wrap up a five-game homestand with a Tuesday tilt with Abilene Christian, with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m. CT at Clay Gould Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on UTAMavs.com, with the Voice of UTA Baseball, Josh Sours, calling the action.
The Mavericks will turn to redshirt freshman right-hander Cody Wernli (0-0, 0.00 ERA) for his second career start on Tuesday night. ACU will counter with junior southpaw Colton Brasher (2-2, 5.91 ERA). Wernli has been working his way back to health after a redshirt season used to recover from offseason surgery. A 6-foot-2, 215-pound native of Allen, Texas, has worked in four games in 2018, with four innings, three hits and two walks allowed, striking out three. Brasher has made four appearances with three starts, working 21.1 innings, allowing 24 hits and eight walks, striking out 21.
Abilene Christian (13-5, 2-4 Southland Conference) has hit a robust .333 on the year through 18 games, scoring 143 runs and ripping 59 extra-base hits. ACU has stolen 23 bases and own a .470 slugging percentage. Defensively, ACU has a .961 fielding percentage, turning 18 double plays. On the bump, ACU has a 4.34 team ERA in 161.2 innings, allowing 164 hits and 53 walk, striking out 151. Dalon Farkas has belted 11 doubles and two homers in 18 games to lead the ACU offense, with Derek Scott leading the team with three homers and 20 RBI. In relief, Ryan Knowles (1-0, 2.87 ERA) has appeared in 11 of ACU's 18 games, notching a save.
The Mavs own a 17-8 advantage in the series with Abilene Christian, including a 10-5 record in games played in Arlington. UTA won the last meeting, 5-4 in Abilene, after falling in the opening of the two-game, home-and-home series, 9-1 a week earlier. The Mavs have won seven of the last 10 meetings.
Last week, UTA completed a 5-0 stretch with a series sweep over Georgia State to open Sun Belt Conference play over the weekend. The Mavs also earned an 18-inning win at No. 6 Texas A&M on Tuesday night - the longest game played in TAMU history - and a seven-run pasting of Minnesota on Wednesday.
Over the weekend, the Mavs used a prolific power duo of Will Olson and Noah Vaughan to propel the sweep over Georgia State. A native of Sherman, Texas, Olson hit three homers over the first two games, including a walk-off blast to clinch the series, and Vaughan belted two jacks, with his second coming as the walk-off homer to give UTA a sweep on Sunday. Both of the UTA homers came with the Mavs trailing in their final chance at-bat.
UTA (9-9, 3-0 Sun Belt Conference) broke out during the five-game week that saw the Mavs work a total of 55 innings. UTA posted a 5-0 team ERA during the week and hit .288 with seven homers and 42 runs. Overall, the Mavs have hit .246 with 14 homers and 101 runs in 18 games, sporting a 5.38 team ERA in 170.2 innings. On the mound, freshman David Moffat won all three of his games in relief.
UTA's win at Texas A&M marked the fifth consecutive season the Mavs have posted a top-25 win. The 18-inning game was the second-longest in program history and was the longest in Aggie baseball annals. UTA got sterling pitching outings from Carlos Tavera, Logan Austin and Andrew Gross as the game went scoreless for the first 17 innings before the Mavs broke out with five in the 18th.
Vaughan has powered the offensive attack for UTA in 2018, owning a .310 average (22-for-71) with three doubles, five triples, five homers and 16 RBI, owning a 1.134 OPS with two steals and four outfield assists from his centerfield post. Vaughan ranks among the UTA career (11) and single-season leaders in triples and is coming off five extra-base hits over the five-game week.
Senior first baseman Omar Salinas has hit .304 (21-for-69) with three doubles and 10 RBI, owning a 12-5 walk-strikeout ratio. Outfielder Phil Berthiaume has hit .280, second baseman/outfielder Christian Holler has batted .269 with a homer and seven RBI, and shortstop Josh Minjarez is hitting .269 with a double, homer and eight RBI. Olson has batted .246 with two doubles, five homers and 14 RBI, with catcher Jakob Nunez adding a .242 average with a homer and seven RBI. Outfielder/infielder Zac Cook has batted .220 with seven RBI and a .355 on-base percentage, third baseman RJ Williams has a homer and 10 RBI, with outfielder Aaron Funk driving in four runs and second baseman Easton Johnson plating six RBI.
UTA used the weekend rotation of senior southpaw Brad Vassar (2-1, 2.86 ERA) on Friday, senior righty Trae Patterson (0-1, 7.56 ERA) on Saturday and junior right-hander Kai'kepono Anderson (0-1, 8.05 ERA) last weekend. Freshman righty David Moffat (3-4, 3.26 ERA) went 3-0 last week in his three appearances over 6.1 innings. Right-handers Cody Wernli (0-0, 0.00 ERA), Tristan Tom (0-0, 0.00 ERA), Andrew Gross (1-0, 1.46 ERA), Logan Austin (0-0, 5.40 ERA), Carlos Tavera (0-0, 6.48 ERA), Daniel James (0-2, 6.75 ERA), Dylan Schneider (0-0, 8.59 ERA) and Jordon West (1-0, 9.64 ERA) have each appeared in at least four games in relief. Southpaws Ryan Buss (1-0, 3.09 ERA), Drew Gooch (1-0, 7.04 ERA), Adam Meyer (0-0, 10.80 ERA) and Jake Wilcox (0-0, 13.50 ERA) have each worked in at least three games out of the bullpen.
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