Sunday, June 19, 2016

Attendance Keeps Upward Trajectory

It is starting to become a point of pride in the UTA Athletic Department. The attendance in Maverick country has done nothing but rise again this year. In fact, there has not been a year-over-year decrease since the 2013/2014 academic year in any of the team sports, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, softball and baseball.

Let me get into some dry numbers that are the backbone of this post.

In 2012, volleyball averaged 322 fans per game. That moved to 458 in 2013, 551 in 2014 and 783 this past year. The team finished this year 19-10 and in finished fourth in the Sun Belt Conference.

The men's basketball team drew 1,872 fans per game in the 2013/14 season. That number grew to 2,051 in 2014/15 and set a program record of 2,888 this past season. This year, the Mavs had a promising year with marquee wins en route to a 24-11 record and a third place SBC finish.

Monday, June 6, 2016

May '16 Quick Hits

The UT Arlington baseball season ended with two consecutive losses in the conference tournament. The Mavericks upset regular season co-champion South Alabama in the opening round, 4-2, behind 6.1 innings from starting pitcher Kadon Simmons. Jacob Moreland pitched 2.2 scoreless innings in relief for the save. That set up a second round match up with Georgia Southern, a team that beat UTA 2-1 at Clay Gould ballpark during the regular season.

UTA's Joel Kuhnel, part of a powerful 1-2 punch with Simmons, was injured during that regular-season series. He was in good health for the conference tournament and was slated to start. His performance looked good early, giving up 1 run in 2.2 innings on one hit and no walks. However, the UTA offense was listless and couldn't do anything themselves.

I've commented on how it seemed this team was one hit or pitch away from big things. In a very unsurprising way, even mother nature seemed to confine this team to mediocrity as a lightening delay called the game for the day. Despite pitching only 29 pitches, Kuhnel was done and with it, so were UTA's chances.

The blueprint would have been similar to the conference series' at the end of the year, Simmons and Kuhnel to pitch deep, then hope the offense can get one more run in game three. As soon as a I saw that Kuhnel was not going to pitch the next day, I just knew UTA's chances were done. Sure enough, Georgia Southern claimed a 6-0 win, thanks to five runs in the eighth inning to blow the game open.