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Mavericks look to clinch regular season bout with TCU

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Posted: Monday, May 12, 2014 3:47 pm

There hasn't been any bloodshed, but both teams have traded blows with one another and have each shared the taste of defeat on its home field.

But on Tuesday night, the UTA baseball team will look to land the final punch of the regular season bout against TCU and take the season series for the first time since 2004.

UTA (27-25 overall, 16-11 Sun Belt Conference) clinched a winning record for the first time this season after taking game two of the weekend series against Western Kentucky University. The Mavericks’ sweep against the Hilltoppers also marked the first series sweep of the year and guaranteed a spot in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament next week.

UTA is tied for third in the conference with Texas State University, who the Mavericks will play next, but the Sun Belt isn’t on the minds of the players right now. Instead, it’s those purple and white jerseys.

TCU and UTA are deadlocked at 1-1 after each team won at its opponent’s field.

The Mavericks clobbered the Horned Frogs, 10-2 to take game one of the season series but TCU returned the favor on April 1 and scored a combined seven runs in the last three innings to down the Mavericks, 12-6 and even the series.

The Horned Frogs are 36-14 overall and 15-6 in the Big 12 Conference. After a 2-1 series win against the University of Oklahoma this past weekend, TCU moved to second in the Big 12 standings.

The Mavericks, however, also moved up in their league standings after breaking away from a fourth place tie with Western Kentucky this past weekend.

Junior left fielder Ryan Bottger was a spark plug in the Maverick line-up and finished the series 5-11 with two home runs, four runs and six RBIs.

UTA’s .299 batting average is ranked second in the Sun Belt and although inconsistency on the mound has been a weak spot for the team, the Mavericks managed to limit the Hilltoppers to 11 runs through three games. Western Kentucky entered the series with the second best conference batting average and had at least nine hits in 16 of its last 19 games.

Texas Christian has worked the batter’s box, amassing a .293 average, which ranks second in the Big 12. Unlike UTA, however, the Horned Frogs have maintained control on the mound and have the second lowest ERA in the Big 12.

UTA and Texas Christian will enter the ring for the last time of the regular season at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Fort Worth.


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