Thursday, April 28, 2011

On Deck - Lions vs Sam Houston State

SLU Lions (28-15, 12-9 SLC) vs Sam Houston State Bearkats (28-15, 12-9 SLC)
Don Sanders Stadium - Huntsville, TX
Game 1:  6:30pm Friday April 29
Game 2:  2pm Saturday April 30
Game 3:  1pm Sunday May 1

The Line on the Lions
Offense:  .293
Pitching:  3.50/ .253 OBA
Defense:  .957
Ranking:  N/A
Boyd's World RPI:  43
Last 10 Games:  6-4
Last 5 Games:  4-1
Streak:  W2

The Line on the Bearkats
Offense:  .298
Pitching:  3.42/ .245 OBA
Defense:  .972
Ranking:  N/A
Boyd's World RPI:  63
Last 10 Games:  7-3
Last 5 Games:  2-3
Streak:  W1

What to Watch For
SLU's top hitters are Justin Boudreaux (.367/7/38), Brock Hebert (.348/2/27), and Jonathan Pace (.344/1/31).  Top pitchers for Sam Houston are Caleb Smith (2.15, 4-1) who is holding opponents to a .164 BA, Matt Shelton (3.02, 6-0), and Brandon Kimbel (3.21, 5-2).

The top pitchers for the Lions are Tyler Watkins (2.04, 7-1), Josh Janway (3.40, 3-2), and Brandon Efferson (3.65, 7-2).  Stefan Lopez, who has recorded eight saves, has 39 Ks in 29.1 innings pitched.  The Bearkats top hitters are Chris Andreas (.356/9/44), Ryan Mooney (.339/1/19), and Greg Olson (.314/0/13).

Last Time They Played - Last season at "The Pat" the Lions swept the series winning game one 9-5, game two 8-6, and game three 6-5.  In Huntsville during the 2009 season the Lions also swept the series winning 5-3, 7-5 in 10 innings, and 13-6.  However, in the 2009 SLC tournament the Bearkats eliminated SLU by beating them 9-2 in the opening game then winning again two days later 7-2.

Take One For the Team - The Sam Houston pitching staff is 2nd in the conference with 49 hit batters.  The Lion hitters rank 1st in the conference in hit by pitches with 90.  In contrast the Bearkat hitters rank last in the SLC with 31 hit by pitches.

Pitching Premium - On display this weekend will be two of the best pitching staffs in the SLC.  Sam Houston ranks 2nd in the conference with a 3.44 ERA and the Lions rank 3rd with a 3.50 ERA.  The ERA's of Tyler Watkins (2.04) and the Bearkats Caleb Smith (2.15) rank 1st and 2nd in the SLC.

Leader Board - Watkins also ranks 1st in the conference with 75 innings pitched.  Watkins and Brandon Efferson are tied for the SLC wins lead with seven apiece.

Two Ends of the Spectrum - The Bearkats are the SLC leader in runs allowed with 173 while SLU leads the SLC in runs scored with 287.  The Lions have hit into a conference leading 40 double plays while Sam Houston has hit into a conference low five double plays.

The Cozy Confines - Sam Houston has played exceptionally well at home this season as they are 18-4 at Don Sanders Stadium.  On the road the Bearkats are 6-11.  Under Jay Artigues the Lions are 7-7 at Don Sanders Stadium (5-4 against the Bearkats and 2-3 against opponents in the 2008 SLC tourney).

Home Sweet Home - Junior OF Cody Gougler will be heading home this weekend.  Gougler hails from Huntsville, TX and played football and baseball for Huntsville High School.

Farewell Tour - Bearkats head coach Mark Johnson has announced he is retiring at the end of the season.  Johnson, who has been at Sam Houston for five years, is the 15th active coach and the 44th head coach all-time to record 1,000 coaching victories at the NCAA D-1 level.  He previously coached 21 seasons at Texas A&M where he led the Aggies to two NCAA College World Series appearances.  SLU's associate head coach Justin Hill spent the 2007 season on Johnson's staff at Sam Houston.

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