May 12, 2008
RUSTON, La. -- Louisiana Tech will play its final home baseball game of the 2008 season as the "Battle of I-20" recommences with a visit from the University of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
It will be the final home game for seniors Landon Braud, Drew Bunting, Adam Cobb, Albie Goulder, Alan Knotts, Andrew Lassere and Aaron Lorio, who were all honored prior to the May 4 game against Nevada. Tech is 77-63 all-time against ULM (according to available records), and this senior class has compiled a mark of 5-4 against the Warhawks since 2005.
The two teams met earlier in the season at Warhawk Field in Monroe with the Bulldogs taking an 11-7 victory on Feb. 26. Jericho Jones went 3-for-5 in the contest and also pitched 3.2 solid innings, picking up the victory. Adam Cobb homered for the `Dawgs in the win.
Since that cool February night, the two teams have taken very different roads. Tech (20-29, 5-21 WAC), which was picked to finish second in the WAC, stands in seventh place and will miss the conference tournament. ULM (32-20, 20-10 SBC), on the other hand, was picked to finish eighth in the 11-team Sun Belt, but stands on the verge of capturing the conference regular-season title if it gets some help from its neighbor to the south, UL-Lafayette, this weekend.
The Warhawks have been an offensive juggernaut this season, averaging 9.2 runs per game while smashing a whopping 86 home runs, which ranks them in the top 10 in the country in that category. ULM has hit double-digits on the scoreboard 24 times this season, and has topped 20 runs on two occasions.
As expected, Ben Soignier leads the way with a .398 average and 15 home runs on the year while driving in 42. Dexter Fontenot (.379/11/59) and Kyle Suire (.368/15/58) have also been huge threats at the plate for the Warhawks.
For the Bulldogs, John Anderson (1-0, 5.02) will get his third straight Tuesday night start, facing Warhawk lefthander Josh Lett (6-1, 5.82). Anderson was nothing short of spectacular in his last start, a 6.1 inning gem at UL-Lafayette in which he gave up just one unearned run and held the Ragin' Cajuns to just one hit over the first six innings. In his first start, he picked up his first Division I victory at Grambling State, going a predetermined two innings and striking out five.
Several promotions are on tap for Tuesday's game, which will be sponsored by Sprint. It will be the final "Cane's Challenge" game of the season as a six-run output by the Bulldogs will win free Raising Cane's chicken for all in attendance. In addition, the 2008 WAC Champion Lady Techster softball team will be recognized on the field prior to the game.
It's the last chance for the home fans to catch the Bulldogs in action this season. Stadium gates open 90 minutes prior to first pitch, and good seats are still available. The broadcast can be heard on ESPN 97.7 FM (online at www.espn977.com) with the "Voice of the Bulldogs" Dave Nitz on the call. Live stats will also be available through www.latechsports.com.