Baseball Cleared For Takeoff Against Pilots
April 1, 2011
RUSTON, La. - Riding a three-game winning streak and coming off of a midweek win over Southern Arkansas, the Louisiana Tech (13-12) baseball team returns to action this weekend with a two-game set against the LSU-Shreveport Pilots. The series begins Saturday at 6 p.m. and will conclude Sunday at 1 p.m. at J.C. Love Field.
The Bulldogs have won 16 of their last 18 games at home while posting a .306 batting average during those games. Mark Threlkeld leads the Bulldogs offensive attack with a .340 batting average while Joey Ford, who has tallied 12 multi-hit games this season, ranks second on the team with a .327 average.
As a staff, the Bulldogs have posted a 5.47 ERA while Jeb Stefan and Trevor Petersen boast three wins apiece. Caleb Dudley has made 11 relief appearances and has converted four save opportunities this season to lead the club in the back end of the bullpen. Senior Mike LeBreton has been impressive as of late, posting a 1.00 ERA over his last nine innings of work with a 2.87 ERA for the season.
LSU-Shreveport (28-8) will play a doubleheader on Friday before beginning the weekend set with Tech Saturday evening. The Pilots are hitting .342 as a team while posting a 5.44 staff ERA.
All home games this season will be streamed live courtesy of LA Tech All-Access while live stats will be provided via Game Tracker on www.LATechSports.com, the official home page for Louisiana Tech Athletics.
SCOUTING THE PILOTS
Although trailing in the overall series, the Pilots snapped a seven-game losing streak last season against the Bulldogs with a 10-7 win. In the game, the Bulldogs surrendered 10 unanswered runs before chopping away at the Pilots lead. However, despite being outhit, the Pilots managed to withstand the late charge by the Bulldogs and claim their first win in the series.
This season, the Pilots are led by a pair of seniors in Kevin Smith and Andrew Brouillette. A native of Tacoma, Washington, Smith leads the Pilots at the plate with 49 hits, 11 home runs and 46 RBI to along with an impressive .480 batting average. Although his numbers are down from last season, Brouillette is hitting at a .365 clip with 35 hits, 12 home runs and 43 RBI.
In total, the Pilots are hitting .342 as a team and have belted 77 doubles, 22 triples and 57 home runs. A total of eight players on the roster have tallied 23-plus RBI while 11 different players have recorded home runs.
However, as a pitching staff the Pilots have struggled a bit on the mound posting a 5.44 ERA but have been bailed out of many games due to their offensive prowess. Jared Mata has made a team-high eight starts and has posted a 5-2 record. With a 4.25 ERA, Mata has pitched 53.0 innings allowing 58 hits and has fanned 40 batters while walking just 10. As a staff, the Pilots have given up 51 doubles, six triples and 23 home runs.
Defensively, the Pilots have tallied a .963 fielding percentage and have made 42 errors on the season.