March 7, 2008
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech will return to the friendly confines of J.C. Love Field this weekend with a three-game series against its third Southland Conference foe of the season, Central Arkansas. With snow and ice shutting things down throughout northern Louisiana on Friday, the Bulldogs and Bears will play a single game at 3 p.m. on Saturday followed by a 7-inning/9-inning doubleheader beginning at noon Sunday.
The Bulldogs (7-4) had a rough week in Texas last week, dropping four of their five games against opponents that advanced to NCAA Regional play in 2007. Three of those opponents are ranked in at least one national poll this week. Two of those games were heartbreaking one-run losses.
Central Arkansas comes into the weekend after dropping a pair of games to Big 12 foe Texas Tech on Tuesday (15-6) and Wednesday (8-3) in Lubbock, Texas. The Bears are 5-5 on the year, winning three out of four against South Dakota State and splitting a four-game series with Missouri State.
The teams' last meeting came on Feb. 14, 1998 when Mitch McIlwain and Tommy Bost each hit a home run and combined for five RBIs in a 9-2 victory for the Bulldogs in Ruston. According to Tech's records, the teams have met two other times, both resulting in Bulldog victories. However, both meetings were prior to 1972 and no record of the games could be located.
Both teams will get a steady dose of righthanders on the weekend; all three starters for both teams are righties. Dylan Moseley (1-1, 3.00) will get the ball in Saturday's game, squaring off against UCA senior Daniel Price (0-0, 6.23). Moseley's last outing saw him give up four runs on nine hits against Ohio State, taking the loss.
Sunday's first game will pit Tech junior Jericho Jones (2-1, 6.39) against the Bears' Bobby Pritchett (2-0, 3.13). Jones was a victim of a stiff southwest wind at Texas A&M last Sunday as he gave up six runs on seven hits, three of which left the ballpark, in picking up his first loss of 2008. Jones has fared well against Southland Conference opponents in his career with a pair of wins over McNeese State, one over Lamar, and other appearances against UT-Arlington and Nicholls State.
Reigning WAC Pitcher of the Week Alan Knotts (1-0, 2.92) will take the hill in game two on Sunday against UCA senior Matt Whitaker (1-0, 4.96). Knotts had a rocky first inning at Baylor on Tuesday in which he gave up four runs on three hits, two walks, a wild pitch and a balk. He settled down, however, and only surrendered three hits over the next four innings while striking out a career-high seven batters.
There will be no radio broadcast this weekend due to conflicts with Bulldog basketball, but GameTracker will be up and running through www.latechsports.com. Stadium gates open 90 minutes prior to first pitch.