Second-place 'Jacks host Southeastern Louisiana for three-game Southland Conference set

Second-place 'Jacks host Southeastern Louisiana for three-game Southland Conference set

SFA Athletics

NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)

Game One | LHP Patrick Ledet (6-2, 4.06 ERA) vs. RHP Mac Sceroler (7-1, 2.39 ERA)
Game Two | RHP Trevor Kiminski (3-2, 4.19 ERA) vs. RHP Corey Gaconi (3-4, 2.88 ERA)
Game Three | RHP Tony Grabowske (4-2, 2.89 ERA) vs. RHP Carlisle Koestler (2-2, 4.03 ERA)

• Back at Jaycees Field following a five-game road trip that culminated with an impressive midweek victory over No. 4-ranked TCU on Tuesday night, the Stephen F. Austin baseball team looks to maintain its standing as one of the top-tier teams in the Southland Conference when it welcomes Southeastern Louisiana to Nacogdoches for a three-game set. The series is presented by Nacogdoches Memorial Health.
• A rainy Saturday forecast has caused a change in the three-game series. Originally the teams were scheduled to play one game each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday but the 'Jacks and Lions will now play a doubleheader at 2:00 p.m. on Friday before finishing the three-game series at 1:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon. 
• SFA is tied for second place in the Southland Conference standings with Sam Houston State who hosts league-leading McNeese this weekend in Huntsville, Texas. Southeastern Louisiana sits in fifth place in the league standings. 
• Southeastern Louisiana possesses the second-highest RPI of any Southland Conference squad this season. The Lions come to Jaycees Field with an RPI of 55 heading into the weekend series. In 2017, SFA has secured three wins against teams with top-100 RPI. 
• Game one starter Patrick Ledet has been a force to be reckoned with in Southland Conference action this season. The left-hander out of Nacogdoches, Texas, has posted a record of 6-2 which includes a 5-0 showing against Southland Conference opponents. Ledet's six wins are tied for the 34th-most nationally in 2017 and for his career has has collected 15 wins on the hill - the third-most in the history of SFA baseball. 
• Josh Evans is one of only two Southland Conference players who ranks among the top five in the conference in terms of batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. Hailing from Ponca City, Okla., the slugger's slash line of .412/.468/.722 ranks first/fifth/second among all league players. 
• Conner Fikes strikes out just once every 17 at-bats, making him the second-toughest player to strike out in the Southland Conference and the 13th-toughest player to strike out in the nation. The Rowlett, Texas, product has racked up 217 hits in his SFA career, good for the third-most in program history. With 11 more, he will surpass Hunter Dozier for the most hits in the history of the program and he needs 23 more RBI to become the program's new career RBI leader. 
• Another individual who has seen his name etched into a number of areas in the 'Jacks' record books is senior Nick Ramos. An infielder from Plano, Texas, Ramos became the program's all-time leader in runs scored Tuesday night when he crossed home plate for the 133rd time in his career. Ramos ranks second in career doubles (40) and his 753 at-bats are the most in program history. His 214 hits are the fourth-most in program history and he needs 14 more to become the program's all-time hit leader. 
• Cleanup hitter Zac Michener ranks second in the Southland Conference with 41 RBI in 2017. A senior outfielder from Kennedale, Texas, Michener is 11th in the 13-team league with a slugging percentage figure of .556. He is tied with Josh Evans for the team lead in home runs (eight) and his 53 hits are the most on the team and the 10th-most in the Southland. Michener has driven in seven runs on sacrifice flies and those seven sac flies are the second-most in the Southland Conference and the sixth-most nationally. 
• The Minnesota duo of Tony Grabowske and Trevor Kiminski have been part of the 'Jacks' weekend starting rotation since the season started. Grabowske, a junior, ranks eight in the Southland Conference in both ERA (2.89) and opponent batting average (.229). He has allowed only 38 hits and 15 runs - the third-lowest totals in the Southland Conference in both categories. 
• Defensively, the 'Jacks have turned a league-leading 40 doubles plays in 2017. That's the 20th-highest total among all NCAA Division I baseball teams and only Central Arkansas has a better fielding percentage than SFA's mark of .977 which ranks 39th nationally.

Record vs. SLU | 16-24 (.400)
Streak | SFA won one
In Nacogdoches | 8-11 (.421)
Streak | SFA won one
In Hammond, La. | 7-12 (.368)
Streak | SLU won one
Last Game | at SFA 8, SLU 3 (4/21/13)
SFA Runs/Per Game | 206/5.2
SLU Runs/Per Game | 235/5.9
Last SLU Win | April 20, 2013 • 7-3
Last SFA Win | April 21, 2013 • 8-3
Cardenas vs. SLU | 6-11 (.353)

• The Lions travel west to Nacogdoches in order to begin a four-game road trip and are hoping to bring their gaudy offensive numbers with them when the cross the Louisiana border into Texas. Over their last two games, the Lions have scored a combined 32 runs and they are coming off of a 21-3 non-conference victory over Alcorn State on Tuesday night. 
• A large portion of the Lions' punch at the plate comes off the stick of Taylor Schwaner. The third baseman has put his name in the conversation for Southland Conference Player of the Year by leading both the Lions and the 13-team league in slugging percentage (.747), RBI (56), home runs (12) and total bases (109). Those 56 RBI put him fourth nationally in that statistical category and his slash line of .370/.469/.747 puts him among the top six players in the Southland Conference in each of those batting categories. 
• Outside of Schwaner, the Lions have no players batting above .295 but their lineup has an ample amount of pop to offset a slightly lower team average of .247 (12th out of 13 teams in the Southland Conference). Drew Avans' line of .294/.443/.406 includes a Southland Conference-best 35 walks which is the 14th highest total among all NCAA Division I players this season. Carson Crites (.287/.400/.587) has launched 10 homers and is tied with Schwaner for the team lead in doubles (11). The three of them have combined to produce 39 of the Lions' 76 stolen bases - a figure that leads the Southland Conference and ranks 12th nationally. 
• On the mound, the Lions have one of the top arms in the league in Mac Scerloer. The two-time defending Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week has struck out a league-best 83 batters in 67.2 innings of work and leads the league with an opposing batting average of only .187. No arm in the Southland Conference has tossed more frames than Corey Gaconi (68.2) and in all the Lions boast the second-lowest staff ERA (3.78) in the Southland Conference. Opponents are hitting only .244 off of Southeastern Louisiana pitching this season.

A six-game Southland Conference road trip begins next week for the 'Jacks. SFA's first destination on that excursion is Thibodaux, La., where the 'Jacks are scheduled to play a three-game set against Nicholls. Game one of the series is set for 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 5, at Ray E. Didier Field.