April 28, 2014
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech is on the heels of its first series sweep of the season and looking to keep the momentum going when the Bulldogs travel 75 miles south to take on Northwestern State at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Brown-Stroud Field in Natchitoches.
LA Tech (13-27, 4-17 C-USA) enters the midweek contest with a series split in mind after the Demons of Northwestern State (25-19, 13-8 SLC) defeated the Bulldogs earlier this season, 2-1, in Ruston. Despite losing to NSU earlier this season by a slim margin, the Diamond 'Dogs have won four of the last five meetings over the Demons, including two victories in a home and home series last season. The Bulldogs have won three straight over NSU in Natchitoches dating back to the 2009 season.
Tuesday night's game between the Demons and Louisiana Tech will be the final midweek contest of the season for the Bulldogs. LA Tech is 3-4 this season in games played in the middle of the week.
This season, Northwestern State holds a 12-5 record against in-state schools, while the Bulldogs are 5-6 against Louisiana teams in 2014. In head coach Wade Simoneaux's 12 years at LA Tech, the Bulldogs are a combined 71-39 against teams in the state of Louisiana, including eight wins over Northwestern State.
Louisiana Tech will battle the Demons of Northwestern State in one of the oldest in-state rivalries for the Bulldogs on the diamond. The Bulldogs have won four of the last five meetings over Northwestern State, including two victories last season. Most recently, LA Tech fell to NSU, 2-1, earlier this season in Ruston. In 148 total meetings between the two teams, the Bulldogs lead the all-time series over the Demons with an 87-61 record.
A LOOK AT THE DEMONS
Northwestern State is currently tied for second in the Southland Conference standings and enter Tuesday's game on a three-game winning streak, the same as Louisiana Tech. Both teams are 3-2 in their last five games. The Demons have posted a 14-10 record on their home field, including a three-game sweep of Central Arkansas this past weekend.
At the plate
Through 40 games, sophomore shortstop Taylor Love continues to lead the Bulldogs at the dish with a .327 batting average this season. Love leads the team in hits (48), doubles (11), runs (23) and on base percentage (.382). Tyler Ervine (.275 BA) leads the team with 20 runs batted in and home runs with four on the season. As a team, LA Tech is hitting .250 in 2014 with 52 doubles, one triple and 16 home runs.
The Demons enter Tuesday's game with a .263 team batting average with 61 doubles, four triples and nine home runs. Northwestern State is led by outfielder Bret Underwood, who enters the series with a .310 average, 10 doubles, two triples and 13 runs batted in. NSU's leading home run hitter (3) and RBI leader (25) is Cort Brinson.
On the mound
Louisiana Tech will send freshman left-hander Mark Baughman out to the mound on Tuesday in what will be his first collegiate start. Baughman (0-2, 5.48 ERA) enters the game with 12 relief appearances on the season, while his last outing came on April 20 at Southern Miss where he pitched a perfect two-thirds of an inning late in the game. As a whole, LA Tech's pitching staff has a 4.61 ERA, while opponents are hitting .279 against the team.
Northwestern State's staff enters the series with a team earned run average of 4.16 in 44 games thus far. The Demons are scheduled to start senior right-hander Steven Spann in Tuesday's contest. Spann comes into the game with a 7-5 record and a 4.30 earned run average in 20 appearances on the mound. Spann has started three games prior to tomorrow night's game between LA Tech and NSU.
Tuesday's game versus Northwestern State is slated for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch at Brown-Stroud Field in Natchitoches. Play-by-play will not be provided for the road contest versus the Demons, but live stats will be available via GameTracker by accessing the link on the baseball schedule page on LATechSports.com.
Following Tuesday's midweek contest versus Northwestern State, the Bulldogs will hop on a plane and head to Charleston, W.Va., for a pivotal three-game Conference USA matchup with the Marshall Thundering Herd. That series is set to begin at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, May 2 at Appalachian Power Park. The three-game series at Marshall will be broadcast on the LA Tech Sports Network on KNBB 97.7 FM with Dave Nitz providing the call from Charleston.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechBSB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.