Bulldogs Continue Conference Play at Hawai'i
Tech will look to move up in the conference standings beginning Thursday
Devon Dageford leads the Bulldogs with 19 home runs and 56 RBI.
April 29, 2009
HONOLULU -- Following a series split at Sacramento State, Louisiana Tech will now play a four-game series at Hawai'i beginning Thursday, April 30 at 11:35 p.m. CST.
"We have to go into the series focused because there are many distractions in Hawai'i," Tech head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "I had a talk with our players and reminded them about the reason why we came here, to play baseball.
"We are going to be playing in a ballpark that favors pitching and defense. Our pitchers need to trust their stuff on the mound and not walk people. Our fielding percentage within the past 10 games is .973 so we need to continue playing well on defense. Lastly, we need to be relentless at the plate and put pressure on them."
The Bulldogs have an overall record of 22-18. Currently, they are fifth in the Western Athletic Conference with a conference record of 7-9. They trail league leaders Hawai'i and Nevada by only 2.5 games.
Hawai'i comes into the series with a record of 26-16, 9-6 WAC. In their last conference series at New Mexico State, the Rainbows split their four-game set with the Aggies.
The Rainbows lead Tech in the head-to-head series, 16-23. Last season, the Bulldogs won two of four games in Ruston, 14-4 and 10-9.
Chris Kersten now ranks first on the team with a .400 batting average. Of his 60 hits on the season, he has recorded 15 doubles, one triple and 16 home runs. In WAC games, Tech's shortstop/third baseman is posting a team-high .475 batting average (28-for-59).
Freshman right-hander Jeb Stefan (3-5, 7.67 ERA) will start game one on Thursday. In Stefan's last outing at Sacramento State, he only made two mistakes, but the Hornets capitalized by hitting two three-run home runs. Besides the two long balls, he walked two and struck out a career-high 10 batters. His 10 strikeouts were the most since Luke Burnett struck out 14 on April 5, 2007 against New Mexico State. Right-hander Jayson Kramer (4-3, 3.68 ERA) will oppose Stefan. Kramer last faced New Mexico State on April 24 and allowed five runs (all earned) in six innings of work.
Dylan Moseley (4-3, 5.34 ERA) will toe the rubber in game two of the series on Friday. In his last start, the native of Texarakana, Ark. pitched through seven innings and gave up four runs (all earned), while striking out two. Right-hander Matt Sisto (4-4, 4.12 ERA) will start for Hawai'i. He leads the Rainbow staff with two complete games, but he has also given up a team-high 72 hits and 33 runs.
Simoneaux and his staff will call on John Anderson (5-2, 5.31 ERA) to start on Saturday. Anderson last started March 20 in a 11-4 win against Houston Baptist. Since then, the right-hander has made eight appearances out of the bullpen. In his last 4 2/3 innings, he has given up one hit, an unearned run and three walks. He has also struck out three. Hawai'i will attempt to counter with right-hander Nate Klein (1-2, 3.63 ERA), who possesses the lowest earned run average among the Rainbow starters.
Casey Jones (3-0, 5.50 ERA) will start the series finale on Sunday. In Jones' last start, the 6-1, 200-pound right-hander pitched 7 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits, three runs (all earned), walked two and struck out five. Right-hander Jared Alexander (2-1, 6.82 ERA) will take the mound for Hawai'i. The senior last appeared in relief in game two of the Rainbows' doubleheader against the Aggies. He pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed five hits. He also struck out two.
The series will open Thursday at 11:35 p.m. CST. Games two and three of the series are scheduled for 11:35 p.m. CST on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Both teams will wrap up the series on Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm. CST.
Fans can tune into ESPN 97.7 FM to hear Dave Nitz call the play-by-play action of all four games as they happen. Nitz will begin the pregame show approximately 10 minutes prior to the first pitch of each game.
Hawai'i will video stream the entire series online at www.hawaiiathletics.com. The price per game is $6.28.
Live stats will be available all four games at the online home of Louisiana Tech athletics, www.latechsports.com.