Tech to Face Texas State Bobcats in WAC Road Play
April 11, 2013
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech (12-21, 2-7 WAC) will continue its seven-game road stretch as the Bulldogs make their way to San Marcos, Texas to face Western Athletic Conference newcomer Texas State (12-20, 5-4 WAC) beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Bobcat Ballpark.
The Bulldogs are looking to rebound from a series loss last weekend on the road against San Jose State, while Texas State is also in need of a victory after being swept by Sacramento State and a midweek loss to Texas.
"I like our guys and the way they compete," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "We have had some hard luck. We just have to get this thing turned around and believe that we can do it, but we have to start this weekend. It is all about belief, and if we do that, we will get back in the mix and be a force in this conference."
The series against the Bobcats of Texas State will continue with a 2 p.m. contest scheduled for Saturday and a 12 p.m. start on Sunday to conclude the weekend set.
ON THE MOUND
Tech will send sophomore right hander Phil Maton to the mound for his regularly scheduled Friday start to open the series versus the Bobcats. Maton (5-2) leads the WAC in strikeouts with 55 and leads the Bulldog pitching staff with a 2.18 earned run average on the season. Tech will go with senior left hander James Ferguson in Saturday's game in what will be his second career start and the first this season. Ferguson is 1-0 on the year in 14 appearances out of the bullpen. The Austin, Texas native has recorded a 4.71 ERA thus far this season. Trevor Petersen will get the start in the third and final game of the series for the second consecutive weekend. Petersen, who began the year as Tech's Saturday starter, is 2-2 on the season with an ERA of 3.45.
Texas State will counter with right hander Taylor Black to start things off versus the Bulldogs Friday night. Black (2-4) has an ERA of 3.47 in eight starts this season. The Bobcats will go with right hander Scott Grist (3-2) in the second game of the series on Saturday, while right hander Kyle Finnegan (3-2) will get the ball in Sunday's contest against the Bulldogs.
AT THE PLATE
The Bulldogs' offensive woes have slowed as of late with the team batting average now up to .251 and the top four hitters now batting above .250 for the season. Junior shortstop Ryan Gebhardt continues to lead the way for the Bulldogs offensively with a .306 batting average in 32 games played in 2013. The Monroe native leads Tech in hits (38), runs (18), doubles (9) and total bases (49). Tyler Ervine leads the team with 12 multiple hit games and is hitting .295 on the year, while Bre'shon Kimbell has reached base safely in 13 straight games for the Bulldogs.
As a team, Texas State is matched evenly with the Bulldogs with a team bat¬ting average of .251 with 51 doubles, 10 triples and four home runs on the season. The Bobcats are led at the plate by sophomore outfielder Cody Love¬joy, who is hitting .319 in 2013 with four doubles, nine RBI and a .393 on base percentage in 28 appearances. Infielder Garrett Mattlage leads the team in hits (37), runs (22) doubles (9) and triples (3). Mattlage is hitting .296 in 2013.
The 'Dogs will face a newcomer to the Western Athletic Conference this weekend as Tech travels to take on Texas State for the first time as a conference opponent. The Bulldogs have not faced off against the Bobcats since 1985 and have only faced Texas State four times in the history of both programs. In those four meetings, Louisiana Tech has won three including the latest meeting in the 1985 season when the Bulldogs defeated the Bobcats, 3-1.
Last 4 Meetings (Louisiana Tech leads 3-1 all-time)
1985 - LA Tech 3, Texas State 1 (San Marcos, Texas)
1985 - Texas State 4, LA Tech 3 (San Marcos, Texas)
1984 - LA Tech 3, Texas State 0 (San Marcos, Texas)
1984 - LA Tech 12, Texas State 5 (San Marcos, Texas)
WITH THE CALL
All three games can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on ESPN 97.7 FM with Dave Nitz with the call. The games can also be heard on LA Tech All-Access with play-by-play of all of the action. Fans can also follow all the action with live stats by accessing the link on the schedule page on www.LATechSports.com.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechBSB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech athletics at www.LATechSports.com.
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