NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)
LHP Erik Nouis (0-1, 7.80 ERA) vs. RHP Cameron Linck (2-0, 2.57 ERA)
A pair of teams looking to end three-game losing streaks meet up at Jaycees Field Tuesday night when Stephen F. Austin hosts Louisiana Tech for a 6:30 p.m. non-conference matchup. The Bulldogs make the trip to Nacogdoches for the first time since 2015 and it will be there that the ‘Jacks will try and put a stop to a four-game skid against their rivals from the Pelican State.
SFA’s four-game week got off to a great start last Tuesday afternoon in Houston when the ‘Jacks produced their first road win of the season – a 9-2 non-conference triumph at Houston Baptist. Eight of the ‘Jacks’ nine runs came in the top of the sixth inning and helped make a winner out of sophomore Austin Hearn who came in for relief of freshman Aaron Cardona after the first-year man tossed four innings.
The ‘Jacks’ Southland Conference schedule did not get started the way they wanted it to as SFA came up empty in all three game against McNeese in Lake Charles, La., last weekend. Over the weekend, the ‘Jacks were outscored 23-6 by the Cowboys who improved to 6-0 in league play.
SFA took the lead each of the first two games, only to see it fade away each time. In the series, McNeese belted five home runs and slugged at a rate of .713 through the three games. Senior Alex Hrinevich finished with two of the ‘Jacks’ 14 hits in the three-game series and thanks to five walks had an on-base percentage of .700 through the set.
In the series opener on Friday night, Hrinevich drew a career-best four walks, becoming the first SFA player since 2010 to reach base on a walk four times in a single game. That walk total represents the second-highest in a single game by any one player in the history of the program.
The junior duo of Andrew Cole and Josh Evans have worked their way into the ‘Jacks’ lineup on a more consistent basis after each displayed the ability to get on base and hit with some power. Cole, a product of Shreveport, La., has taken over as SFA’s everyday left fielder and is batting .375 with three doubles and a pair of RBI in 15 games.
Evans’ power gives the ‘Jacks’ lineup a much-needed jolt. A native of Ponca City, Okla., the designated hitter has launched two of SFA’s five home runs and leads the squad with a slugging percentage of .655. Through 16 games played, Evans’ batting average of .379 is tops on the team.
All three of the ‘Jacks’ top RBI producers are members of the senior class. Zac Michener has driven in a team-high 13 runs and Nick Ramos isn’t too far behind having pushed 12 SFA runs across the board with 16 hits. Hrinevich has 10 RBI to his credit to round out SFA’s leaders in that category.
Michener also leads the team with 22 hits and is one of three ‘Jacks with 20+ hits through the first 21 games of the season. Fellow seniors Conner Fikes and Tyler Kendrick each have 21 hits and eight RBI for SFA.
RECORD vs. LOUISIANA TECH | 8-20 (.286)
STREAK | Louisiana Tech won four
IN NACOGDOCHES | 3-10 (.231)
STREAK | Louisiana Tech won one
IN RUSTON, LA. | 5-10 (.333)
STREAK | Louisiana Tech won three
LAST GAME | at Louisiana Tech 11, SFA 3 (4/29/15)
SFA RUNS | PER GAME | 118 | 4.2
LOUISIANA TECH RUNS | PER GAME | 200 | 7.1
LAST LOUISIANA TECH WIN | 4/29/15 • 11-3
LAST SFA WIN | 3/15/13 • 3-2
SCOUTING LOUISIANA TECH | ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATISTICS
Seeking some wins in their Conference USA opening series last weekend, the Bulldogs instead got swept by visiting Southern Miss in their three-game set at J.C. Love Field over the weekend. Louisiana Tech fell to the Golden Eagles by scores of 5-2, 13-9 and 8-5.
Offensively, Jordan Warsham and Brent Diaz are the two primary threats for the Bulldogs. Warsham is batting a team-high .410 and has nine doubles, a triple and three home runs among his team-best 34 hits. Diaz is no slouch in the power department either, hitting .385 to go along with his squad-best slugging percentage of .679. He leads the team with 15 extra base hits which include 10 doubles, two triples and a trio of long balls.
That duo represents two of eight Louisiana Tech players who have 11 or more RBI to their credit through 20 games in 2017. Chase Lunceford also has 23 RBI for the Bulldogs and although his batting average is a little lower - .296 – he makes up for it with a good deal of power as evident by his seven doubles and six home runs.
Cameron Linck will make his fifth start of 2017 for the Bulldogs on the mound. Through 21 frames of work, the senior has surrendered 15 hits and 12 walks while dealing 15 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .203 off of the right-hander who is one of two Louisiana Tech pitchers who have at least two wins without a loss so far.
COMING UP NEXT
The ‘Jacks continue their longest home stand of the 2017 campaign Wednesday night when they welcome Arkansas-Pine Bluff to Jaycees for a non-conference game. First pitch has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. with freshman Aaron Cardona scheduled to get the ball for SFA.