Mavericks Win Second Straight Conference Title

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The baseball team made history in 2013 by winning a conference championship for the second consecutive year.

The Mavericks tied for the regular-season Western Athletic Conference title after posting an 18–9 league record. Last year the team won the Southland Conference Tournament championship.

I felt like we overachieved this year,” head coach Darrin Thomas says. “We were picked sixth or seventh in the preseason poll and then ended up winning it.”

Junior designated hitter Matt Shortall helped the team go 31–27 overall, including victories over Oklahoma, Illinois, and Texas Tech. He batted .362 with 54 RBIs and led the Mavericks with eight home runs.

Shortall was named a Louisville Slugger third-team All-American, a College Sports Madness fourth-team All-American, and a semifinalist for the Olson Award. He was the WAC Field Player of the Year and a first-team All-WAC selection.

Junior pitcher Brad Vachon and junior catcher Greg McCall made the All-WAC second team. McCall hit .284 with five home runs. Vachon developed into the staff ace, going 7–4 with a 3.18 earned-run average.

Most of the roster is eligible to return in 2014 when the Mavericks begin play in the Sun Belt Conference. Four Sun Belt teams qualified for the NCAA Regionals in 2013.

It’s a very good league,” Thomas says. “We understand it doesn’t matter whether it’s the WAC, Southland, or Sun Belt. We know you need to get better every year. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting close.”

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