March 3, 2014
RUSTON, La. - After a grueling first three weeks of the season, Louisiana Tech will wrap up its 12-game home stand with a two-game midweek series against in-state foe McNeese State beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston.
The second game with the Cowboys was originally scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, but has now been moved up to a 4 p.m. first pitch between LA Tech and McNeese.
The Bulldogs, who come into tomorrow's game with a 3-7 record on the year, traveled to Lake Charles last season for a three-game series with the Cowboys, and despite winning the first game that weekend, dropped the series with two close losses on Saturday and Sunday.
"I know McNeese State always has a good team and we know that these next two midweek games are going to be a challenge for us with them coming to town," head coach Wade Simoneaux said.
This season marks the 12th straight year the two teams have met on the diamond with Louisiana Tech posting a 20-12 record in that stretch. The Bulldogs are also 14-4 at home versus McNeese State since 2003.
McNeese State comes into this weekend with a 7-3 record on the season, but has yet to face a road test thus far. The Cowboys are coming off a series victory over Valparaiso this past weekend. After losing the first game of that series by one run, McNeese came back to take the set. The Cowboys have recorded notable wins this season over teams such as Missouri, Southern Miss and UT Arlington. McNeese is coached by first-year head coach Justin Hill.
Louisiana Tech and McNeese State have met on the diamond 130 times coming into Tuesday night's game. The latest meeting between the two teams dates back to a season ago when the Bulldogs traveled to Lake Charles for a three-game series, winning the first game before dropping Saturday and Sunday's games by close margins. LA Tech leads the all-time series over the Cowboys, having posted an 81-49 record in the series history.
At the plate
Senior first baseman Tyler Ervine continues to lead the Bulldogs at the plate and comes into this week's games with a .405 batting average, which ranks fifth among all C-USA players. He has driven home 12 runs in 10 games and has a double and two home runs. Four of LA Tech's hitters are batting above .300, while the Bulldogs are hitting .257 as a team with 11 doubles, four home runs and 34 runs scored.
The Cowboys are led by junior infielder Connor Lloyd, who is hitting .419 with a double and 10 RBI. He has a team-leading 18 hits and a .500 on base percentage in 10 games. McNeese is batting .310 as a team with 18 doubles, a triple and two home runs. The Cowboys have scored 78 runs as a team in just 10 games this season.
On the mound
Junior transfer Austin Greer will get his first career start and second appearance on the season for the Bulldogs Tuesday against the Cowboys. Greer pitched one inning last week against UALR and gave up one run off two hits and struck out two. Luke Giddens is set to get the nod Wednesday in what will be his third start of the season.
McNeese State will send right handers Cole Prejean and Bryce Kingsley to the bump on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Bulldogs faced Kingsley last season and won the first game of the three-game series 6-0, with Kingsley being charged with the loss for the Cowboys.
WITH THE CALL
Tomorrow's game against the Cowboys will be available to fans via live stream on LA Tech All-Access for subscribers. However, due to streaming conflicts, audio and video for Wednesday night's contest versus McNeese will not be available.
Tuesday night's game will mark Mardi Gras Madness Night at The Love Shack as fans in attendance will receive free LA Tech beads throughout the night. Wednesday will be Throwback Night for the Bulldogs.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechBSB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.