Bulldogs Conclude First Weekend of Practice

Jan. 30, 2017

RUSTON, La. - On Friday afternoon, the march towards the 2017 baseball season officially got underway for first-year head coach Lane Burroughs and the rest of the ‘Diamond Dogs, as the team took the field for their first official practice.

Louisiana Tech has had individual workouts for the past few weeks, but on Friday were able to take the field as a team for the first time.

“I thought it was a different feel, because we are all out here together and there was not a restriction on us, so to speak. We can do things as a team,” Burroughs said. “One thing I liked about the attitude, is that since we have been out here, we were not sky-high. We were even keel, but the energy was good all weekend. We practiced Friday and I thought we looked really good.”

The Bulldogs followed up Friday’s practice with a nine-inning scrimmage on Saturday and seven more innings on Sunday.

“We decided to just scrimmage twice this weekend. Quite honestly, Saturday started off really slow. I thought everyone was sped up a little bit, including myself. We were putting in signals and doing things we had not done. I thought guys just kind of did not know what to do or where to look. I thought it progressively got better.”

After Saturday’s scrimmage, the Bulldogs started their Sunday morning at First Baptist Church of Ruston. The Bulldogs joined parishioners for a morning service and following a lunch provided by First Baptist, headed back to J.C. Love Field for their second scrimmage of the weekend.

“[Sunday] was outstanding,” Burroughs continued. “The score does not indicate it, but I thought today was a lot smoother. We kind of slowed the game down a little bit. We played essentially 16 innings, nine [Saturday] and seven [Sunday]. I thought we defended the field well, we only made three errors in total [combining both teams over 16 innings]. I thought Brent Diaz had a great weekend swinging the bat. Gladu and Lunceford also swung the bat well. [Saturday] on the mound, I thought Casey Sutton was good. Matt Miller was outstanding at the end of the game [Saturday] night. He came in and was peppering his spots. Small misses and he was up in the low 90’s. He was spinning the baseball and he looked like a closer. I thought our catchers, both Brent and Colby, caught the ball well, with it being the first weekend. Our hitters really swung the bat well this weekend.”

 

 

Louisiana Tech will look to replace three arms lost to the MLB Draft in Phillip Diehl, Adam Atkins and Braden Bristo, as well as Tyler Clancy who graduated.

“I am excited about some of these pitchers too,” Burroughs remarked. “There are some guys with a chance to help us. Nate Harris was good yesterday. Cameron Linck, it was good to see him back out there. I thought his first inning [Sunday] was good. I am going to be honest, you can put about 12 or 13 guys in our lineup and it is going to be hard for anyone to navigate through that thing four times. I feel good about that and don’t have a problem saying that.”

Several other Bulldogs caught the eye of their head coach defensively, both in the infield and the outfield.

“Dalton Skelton was outstanding defensively, all weekend,” Burroughs concluded. “Mason Robinson is another guy who ran the bases well. He also ran down some balls in the outfield [Sunday]. I also thought J’Mar Smith played well. He had not been out here and doing a lot, but he defended the field well and took some good swings. The more pitches he sees and live at bats he has, the better off he’ll be.”

Louisiana Tech opens the 2017 season on Friday, Feb. 17 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 6 p.m. at J.C. Love Field. Season tickets are still available by calling the Louisiana Tech Ticket Office or by ordering online at LATechSports.com.

For all of the latest on Louisiana Tech Baseball, fans are encouraged to follow the ‘Diamond Dogs on Twitter and Instagram @LATechBSB.

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