Bulldogs Set to Host Houston Baptist in Weekend Series
March 8, 2018
RUSTON, La. – The Louisiana Tech baseball team will return to the friendly confines of J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park for its final non-conference weekend set of 2018. Tech will welcome Houston Baptist to Ruston, for the first matchup between the two programs since 2009.
Louisiana Tech (9-5) is coming off a pair of midweek victories over in-state opponents in Grambling (8-0 final) and UL-Monroe (7-0 final). That marks the first time since 2016 that the Bulldog pitching staff pitched two shutouts against different opponents.
Before these two midweek contests, Tech wrapped up a successful weekend in Frisco, Texas. The Bulldogs kicked things off with a 4-2 win over No. 9 Texas A&M, followed by a 10-6 triumph over Cal.
All-time, Tech owns a 4-1 edge over the Huskies. The last time the two teams met up was back in 2009, where Tech took two of the three meetings in Ruston.
Tech is slated to throw Matt Miller (1-0, 0.50 ERA, 18.0 IP, 24 K, 3 BB) on Friday, Logan Robbins (2-0, 1.76 ERA, 15.1 IP, 12 K, 2 BB) on Saturday, and Logan Bailey (1-1, 1.69 ERA, 16.0 IP, 13 K, 5 BB) on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Huskies are expected to send Zach Carter (0-2, 1.89 ERA, 19.0 IP, 13 K, 6 BB), Matthew McCollough (0-0, 5.19 ERA, 17.1 IP, 14 K, 2 BB) and Daniel Endsley (0-3, 7.62 ERA, 13.0 IP, 9 K, 9 BB) to the mound on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
As a team, the Huskies are hitting .211 with six home runs and 48 RBI. The offense has scored 48 runs in 13 games and is reaching base at a .291 clip.
Meanwhile, the Tech offense who began the season slowly, has started to heat up in its last few contests. As a team, Tech has upped its batting average to .275, on the strength of nine home runs and 68 RBI. Tech has drawn 58 walks, while reaching base at a rate of .378.
After its highly successful weekend in Frisco, Tech made an appearance in the receiving votes section of this week’s USA Today Coaches Poll. Tech collected four votes after knocking off a pair of P5 opponents.
Tech junior Matt Miller enters this weekend as the reigning Conference USA Player of the Week honors after stymieing the previously undefeated No. 9 Texas A&M offense, who entered Friday’s contest averaging 8.67 runs per game. Miller did not issue a walk in the game, while striking out six and made the most of his 99 pitches. Texas A&M came into the game with a team batting average of .356, but in Tech’s 15th win over a ranked team since the start of 2016 (15-9), Miller controlled the count early and often, and kept the Aggie hitters off balance, scattering just five hits in seven innings.
The Aurora, Illinois, native now ranks among the top-10 conference leaders in ERA (0.50, third), opposing batting average (.154, sixth), innings pitched (18.0, seventh), strikeouts (24, fifth), and earned runs allowed (1, tied for second).
Tech will look to both Tanner Huddleston and Chris Clayton to continue their hot hitting as of late. Huddleston enjoyed Frisco Classic Most Valuable Player honors for his play last weekend, while Clayton notched a career-high four RBI in Wednesday's win over ULM.
The Lucedale, Mississippi, native capped off a big sixth inning for the Tech offense against A&M, with a 3-run tape-measure blast that cleared the Dr. Pepper Ballpark left-center wall (364) by a good 40-50 feet, putting Tech up 4-0 over the previously undefeated Aggies. Then, against Cal, Huddleston broke a 5-5 tie in the top of the sixth with his second three-run bomb in as many days, again over the left-field fence. He ended the weekend with Tech’s only RBI, in its loss to Baylor, his seventh in just three games. Huddleston now ranks second on the team with 12 RBI, and has raised his average nearly 70 points in just the past week.
Mark Cramer will bring you the call on 97.7 FM for Friday, and Dave Nitz will return to his baseball duties for the final two games of the series and the rest of the season.
Be sure to keep an eye on LATechSports.com for all the latest on Tech athletics, and follow @LATechBSB for in-game updates and breaking news regarding the Louisiana Tech baseball team.
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