May 2, 2013
RUSTON, La. - After a week-long road trip to the West Coast, Louisiana Tech returns home to the friendly confines of J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park to play host to the first place team in the Western Athletic Conference, CSU Bakersfield, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday in Ruston.
CSU Bakersfield (29-17, 12-6 WAC) is coming off a midweek loss to Fresno State on the road and have now lost three straight games after Texas State took two games from the Roadrunners in San Marcos, Texas last weekend.
Louisiana Tech (15-30, 3-15 WAC) is looking to rebound after dropping two of three to Sacramento State on the road last weekend. After opening the series with a 5-4 victory over the Hornets, the home team defeated Tech Saturday and Sunday for the series victory.
"CSU Bakersfield is first in the league and they deserve to be there right now with the way they pitch and play ball," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "They have four of the top five pitchers in the WAC, and that is why they are at the top of the standings right now. They play the game tough, but we have to make a stand right now. Our guys are really working hard and they know what is at stake."
The three-game conference series versus the Roadrunners will continue with games scheduled at 3 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
The three-game Western Athletic Conference series between the Bulldogs and CSU Bakersfield will mark the first meeting on the baseball diamond for the two teams in school history. The two schools are conference mates for the first and last season in the WAC with Tech making the move to Conference USA after the conclusion of the 2013 season. This is CSU Bak¬ersfield's first season as a WAC affiliate.
AT THE PLATE
The Bulldogs are hitting .249 as a whole with junior first baseman Tyler Ervine leading the way at this point in the season. Ervine, a transfer from Weatherford College, leads Tech in batting average (.296), hits (45), runs (21), walks (16) and on base percentage (.372). Bre'shon Kimbell leads the team in slugging percentage with .399 with 10 doubles, three home runs and 21 runs batted in on the season thus far.
As a team, CSU Bakersfield is ranked third in the conference with a team bat¬ting average of .291, with 71 doubles, 18 triples, which leads the WAC, and 5 home runs on the season. The Roadrunners are led at the plate by junior in¬fielder Tyler Shryock, who is batting .346 with a team-leading 65 hits, 21 walks and nine doubles in 2013. Oscar Sanay leads the team with 11 doubles and is slugging .473 with a .343 average for the season.
ON THE MOUND
The Tech pitching rotation will remain solid with LHP James Ferguson (2-1) getting the start Friday night for the third consecutive weekend. Phil Maton (5-5) and Trevor Petersen (2-4) will start for the Bulldogs for games two and three of the series. Maton is currently leading the WAC in strikeouts (73).
The Roadrunner pitching staff has an overall earned run average of 2.98, the best of any other team in the WAC. CSU Bakersfield will send LHP Jeff McKen¬zie (10-1) to the mound to begin the series Friday night and follow up with RHP Scott Brattvet (7-1) and LHP Jonathan Montoya Saturday and Sunday respectively.
PROMOTIONS Promotions have been set for this weekend's series against the visiting Roadrunners beginning with Free Hot Dog Friday courtesy of Super 1 Foods in Ruston. Fans will receive free hot dogs upon entry into the stadium while supplies last. Free raffle tickets will also be available at the entrance for a chance to win multiple gift cards, as well as autographed posters.
The free raffles will continue Saturday with prizes such as LA Tech T-shirts, an autographed basketball and football, and gift cards available throughout the game. Free chips and hot dogs will also be given out to the first 30 fans in attendance, while a bounce house will be available during the game for kids.
Sunday's game will mark "Cinco de Mayo Baseball," as there will be a piñata available with freebies inside for fans in attendance. The LA Tech student at the game wearing the most festive outfit will also win a gift card to El Jarrito. Free face-painting will be available for kids, as well as a bounce house in the stadium. A Split the Pot raffle will also take place Sunday with the winner receiving half of the funds raised with the other half benefiting 4-Pawls Rescue.
WITH THE CALL
All three games versus CSU Bakersfield can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on ESPN 97.7 FM with Dave Nitz calling all the action. Fans can also follow along with live stats by accessing the link on the schedule page on www.LATechSports.com, while all three games can be seen and heard on LA Tech All-Access.
Following the series against the Roadrunners, the Bulldogs will remain home to host future Conference USA mate Rice in a midweek contest beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 8 at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston. That game can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on ESPN 97.7 FM and can also be seen and heard on LA Tech All-Access. Live stats will also be available 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.