April 7, 2011
RUSTON, La. - The Louisiana Tech baseball team opens Western Athletic Conference play when it hosts New Mexico State for a four-game set that begins Friday evening at 6 p.m. at J.C. Love Field. Both teams square off in a doubleheader that beings Saturday at 1 p.m. and will wrap up the series at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Despite dropping Tuesday's midweek contest with Northwestern State, Tech enters the week having won five of their last six games and 18 of their last 21 games inside the friendly confines of J.C. Love Field.
New Mexico State owns a 22-6 mark on the season and enters the weekend series having won three of their four games last weekend against Northern Colorado.
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.
Dave Nitz will provide play-by-play commentary for all four games this weekend. Fans can listen within the greater Ruston area on ESPN 97.7 or log on and listen via LA Tech All-Access.
After concluding their season-long 11-game homestand, the Bulldogs will head west for their next eight games. Tech will play a pair of four-game sets against both Hawai'i and San Jose State before returning home on April 26 to host Grambling State.
Friday will mark the 25th meeting between the two schools.
New Mexico State has won the last six meetings.
Tech has not defeated New Mexico State since May 15, 2009.
Tech is 7-3 against the Aggies at J.C. Love Field.
Tech has won 18 of their last 21 games at J.C. Love Field.
Tech is 4-5 in conference openers.
Tech is 1-3 when opening conference play at home.
Tech is 12-0 this season when leading after eight innings.
Tech is 157-6 since the 2004 season when leading after eight innings.
Tech is 2-13 this season when trailing after eight innings.
Tech has featured 24 different starting lineups in 28 games this season.
Tech is 2-0 this season in extra innings games.
Tech has picked off 10 runners to lead the WAC.
Tech is hitting .301 at home while hitting .246 on the road.
Kyle Roliard has hit safely in 13-straight home games and 36 of his last 39.
Roliard has hit safely in his last nine games.
Joey Ford has tallied 13 multi-hit games this season.
Will Alvis ranks second in the WAC with five home runs.
The four home runs allowed by the Bulldogs' pitching staff are the fewest in the WAC.
Mark Threlkeld ranks third in the WAC with 10 doubles.
Threlkeld ranks amongst the WAC leaders in 12 offensive categories.
Threlkeld and Ewing have been hit by six pitches this year, ranking third in the WAC.
Threlkeld leads the WAC and ranks 4th in the country with five sacrifice flies.
Ryan Gebhardt ranks second the WAC with five sacrifice bunts.
Caleb Dudley leads the WAC with 13 appearances on the mound.
Mike Jefferson leads the WAC with seven pickoffs on the season.
Jefferson is one of three starting pitchers in the WAC who hasn't allowed a triple or homer.
SCOUTING THE AGGIES
New Mexico State enters the weekend with a 22-6 overall record including taking three of four last weekend against Northern Colorado. The Aggies return six position starters and three starting pitchers from a 2010 squad that finished 36-23-1.
With a 1-2 record on the road, the Aggies boast a high-powered offense with a team batting average of .358 with 25 home runs and 304 runs scored. Four Aggies are currently own batting over .400 with Tanner Waite leading the conference with a .486 mark.
As a pitching staff, NMSU has tallied a 5.71 ERA and has struck out 190 batters while walking 125 in 238.0 innings of work. Defensively, the Aggies have committed 52 errors for a .952 fielding percentage and opposing teams have stolen 18 bases on 31 attempts.
Louisiana Tech has posted a 4-5 record in conference openers while posting a 1-3 mark in openers at home. In the first conference series at home, Tech owns a 3-6 mark. Overall in opening conference series, Tech has won two series, dropped five and split one. The lone series wins came on the road against Hawai'i in 2005 and 2006.
Friday's game against New Mexico State will mark Super 1 Foods Free Hotdog Friday as the first 250 fans will receive a free hotdog. Saturday marks March of Dimes Day in which there will be a raffle and giveaways to support the cause of March of DImes. Following Sunday's finale, all kids 14 and younger are invited to run the bases following the game.