Bulldogs Set to Open Conference USA Play with Southern Miss
March 16, 2017
RUSTON, La. - Following a thrilled 6-5 victory over nationally-ranked Lafayette, the Diamond ‘Dogs quickly turn around and gear up for their first Conference USA action of 2017, welcoming in the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss.
Louisiana Tech is off to a red-hot 15-2 start and picked up its first top-10 win of the season on Wednesday night at the Love Shack. Through 17 games the Diamond ‘Dogs have put up double-digit run production in eight games.
Currently the Diamond ‘Dogs have the second-best average scoring margin in the nation at +5.6. As a team the Bulldogs are averaging 9.1 runs per game which ranks fifth in the nation.
Southern Miss enters with a 13-4 record on the season and the Golden Eagles are coming off of a 20-5 drumming of Columbia on Wednesday night. Last weekend at Pete Taylor Park, Southern Miss took two-of-three from Xavier and tossed shutouts in both games of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.
Taylor Braley has been swinging a hot bat for the Golden Eagles entering with a .368 batting average and .649 slugging percentage. Braley has an OPS of 1.156 through 17 games.
As a team, Southern Miss is batting .297 and averaging just over 8.25 runs per game. They’ve shown some serious pop with 19 home runs and 53 extra-base hits overall.
The two teams met last season in Hattiesburg for a three-game set with Southern Miss taking two-of-three in the heated matchup.
Jordan Washam has been a star atop the Louisiana Tech order. Through the first third of the season, Washam has scored 28 runs which ranks first in the nation. Raphael Gladu, who has scored 24 runs on the season ranks ninth nationally.
Kent Hasler will get the nod against on Friday night. Hasler enters the matchup with an ERA of 1.88 and a WHIP of 0.79. That WHIP ranks top-50 in the nation currently.
First pitch on Friday is set for 6 p.m. at the Love Shack. On Saturday first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the series finale on Sunday will begin at 1 p.m. An online stream to all three games will be available through CUSA.TV and the series will also be broadcast on ESPN 97.7.
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