March 28, 2013
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech will return to action in the final three games of a 12-game home stand to face conference foe UT Arlington in a three-game series set to begin at 6 p.m. Friday at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston.
The series will continue with 3 p.m. and 1 p.m. contests against the Mavericks scheduled for Saturday and Sunday re¬spectively.
Tech (11-16, 1-2 WAC) opened the 2013 season with a three-game non-conference series against the Mavericks in Arlington, Texas in a weekend that saw UT Arlington (12-12, 2-1 WAC) sweep the Bulldogs in three close contests.
Head coach Wade Simoneaux spoke of the difference between his team at the beginning of the 2013 campaign coming into the conference series against the Mavericks.
"We have to get focused for UTA coming in on Friday, a team that swept us earlier this season," Simoneaux said. "I think now we are starting to get an identity offensively, and we are finally putting together some hits."
The Bulldogs are coming off a 6-0 midweek victory over Grambling State, while UT Arlington fell to Texas A&M, 7-0. The Mavericks are coming off a 2-1 series win in WAC play over the UTSA Roadrunners on the road. UT Arlington leads the overall series 7-6 over Tech after winning three games to open the season.
LAST 5 MEETINGS (UT ARLINGTON LEADS 7-6)
2/17/13 - UT Arlington 9, LA Tech 3 in Arlington Texas
2/16/13 - UT Arlington 4, LA Tech 3 in Arlington, Texas
2/15/13 - UT Arlington 7, LA Tech 6 in Arlington, Texas
2/19/12 - LA Tech 8, UT Arlington 7 in Ruston, La.
2/19/12 - UT Arlington 8, LA Tech 2 in Ruston, La.
AT THE PLATE
Tech will come into the series with a .248 team batting average with junior shortstop Ryan Gebhardt leading the way. Gebhardt is hitting .303 in 26 appearances this season. The Monroe native leads the Bulldogs in hits (30), doubles (T-6), RBI (16) and total bases (38).
ON THE MOUND
The Bulldogs will send their normal weekend rotation to the mound to face UT Arlington with sophomore right hander Phil Maton (4-1) getting things started in the first game Saturday afternoon. Senior Trevor Petersen (2-2) will get the ball Sunday with right hander Richie Navari (1-4) finishing up the series Monday night versus the Mavericks.
UT Arlington will send right hander Brad Vachon (2-2) to start things off versus the Bulldogs Friday night. Vachon leads the Mavericks pitching staff in ERA (2.56) in seven appearances and five starts. Tech faced Vachon earlier in the season after the right hander came on in relief in Sunday's game to hold the Bulldogs to no runs off two hits while striking out five in five innings of relief work. Left hander Chase Weaver (2-0) and right hander Zach Thompson (2-2) will start for UT Arlington for Saturday and Sunday's games.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
All three games versus the Mavericks can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on ESPN 97.7 FM with Dave Nitz providing play-by-play for the games this weekend. The games this weekend can also be seen and heard on LA Tech All-Access with a live stream and play-by-play of all of the action. Fans can also follow all the action on Gametracker by accessing the link on the schedule page on www.LATechSports.com.
Friday's game will mark the return of Free Hot Dog Friday as fans will receive a free hot upon entry into the stadium courtesy of Super 1 Foods in Ruston while supplies last. All children in attendance for Saturday's game will have the chance to participate in an Egg Hunt beginning at 2:30 before the Bulldogs take to the field at 3 p.m. to take on the Mavericks.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechBSB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech athletics at www.LATechSports.com.