NACOGDOCHES, TX (Press Release)
• After suffering a seven-inning loss to third-seeded Sam Houston State by a final score of 13-1, the sixth-seeded Stephen F. Austin Baseball team must try and regroup in the losers bracket of the Southland Conference Tournament when they take on seventh-seeded New Orleans in an elimination game at 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning at Constellation Field.
• Senior southpaw Patrick Ledet will get the start against the Privateers. Last season, Ledet worked seven innings against New Orleans and earned the win by striking out five and walking just one on 97 pitches. SFA’s offense backed Ledet with a 16-run output and although Ledet gave up six runs on seven hits he was still able to collect his second win of the season.
• This season Ledet ranks eighth in the Southland Conference with seven wins on the hill and his 64 strikeouts are the 10th-most among all league arms.
• New Orleans is one of the two teams SFA did not square off with in the 2017 regular season. Now the ‘Jacks and Privateers meet in the Southland Conference Tournament for the first time ever. In the only other neutral-site meeting between the two teams, SFA claimed a 16-7 win over UNO back on Feb. 27, 2011 in Natchitoches, La.
• In the opening game of the Southland Conference Tournament, senior Nick Ramos produced one of the ‘Jacks’ three hits, giving him an even 230 for his career. Those 230 hits represent the most in the history of SFA baseball and senior teammate Conner Fikes trails Ramos for first place all-time by just one as Fikes has totaled 229 career hits.
• Over the last four games, Ramos has raised his batting average 30 points and is without questions the ‘Jacks toughest out as of late. The senior out of Plano, Texas, was named the Southland Conference Hitter of the Week last Sunday afternoon following the ‘Jacks’ three-game sweep of Houston Baptist. In that series, Ramos went 9-for-12 at the plate and scored seven of SFA’s 18 runs to go along with an RBI.
• The ‘Jacks are making their seventh all-time appearance in the Southland Conference Tournament and their second in as many seasons. SFA made the cut for postseason play in 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016 in addition to entering the fray as the sixth seed this season. All-time, the ‘Jacks are 10-15 in Southland Conference Tournament action and are facing New Orleans for the first time in postseason play. Below is SFA’s record against all opponents in Southland Conference Tournament action.
Central Arkansas | 2-1
Lamar | 2-0
McNeese | 1-0
New Orleans | 0-0
Oral Roberts* | 0-1
Sam Houston State | 1-3
Southeastern Louisiana | 1-1
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi | 1-1
Texas State* | 1-5
UT-Arlington* | 0-2
UTSA* | 1-1
* | no longer a member of the Southland Conference
Scouting New Orleans | Roster | Schedule | Statistics
• Armed with one of the most powerful lineups in the Southland Conference, New Orleans enters Thursday morning’s game attempting to stave off elimination in their first postseason meeting with Stephen F. Austin. Slashing at a rate of .293/.375/.441, New Orleans ranks third in the league in batting average, fourth in on-base percentage and second in slugging percentage. No strangers to extra-base power at the plate, almost 30-percent of the Privateers’ 574 hits are of the extra-base variety. Those extra-base hits include the 105 doubles and 54 home runs - the second-most in the Southland Conference.
• Just about every player in the Privateers’ lineup has a substantial among of pop in their bat. Orynn Veillon (.303/.344/.631) leads the squad in RBI (53), home runs (15) and is one of three players who have belted 10 or more long balls in 2017. Hezekiah Randolph (.291/.401/.554) has launched 11 homers while Tristan Clarke (.297/.380/.540) has hammered 10 of them. All three of the aforementioned players have struck for 13 doubles as well.
• Behind the plate, John Cable (.360/.438/.482) has recorded a team-high 405 putouts and thrown out 19 runners attempting to steal. He supplements his defense with an offense that ranks among the the best in the Southland Conference as he leads the squad with in hits (71), walks (29), batting average and on-base percentage.
• Now with their season on the line, the Privateers send sophomore left-hander Bryan Warzek to the hill to try and shut down the Lumberjacks. The 2017 All-Southland Conference Second Team member has worked 93.2 innings for New Orleans and has recorded 87 strikeouts against only 31 walks. Warzek leads New Orleans by limiting opponents to a batting average of .233.
• In their first Southland Conference Tournament game since being eliminated by McNeese in the 2016 tournament, the Privateers saw Veillon slug a pair of homers and John Cable added a two-run shot of his own to help the seventh-seed take a 4-0 lead over second-seeded Southeastern Louisiana before the Lions rallied by scoring 12 of the next 15 runs for a 12-7 victory.
• If SFA eliminates New Orleans from the Southland Conference Tournament, the ‘Jacks will move on to face either Southeastern Louisiana or Sam Houston State in another elimination game at 9:00 a.m. Friday morning.