Thursday, February 16, 2012

On Deck - Lions vs Indiana State


SLU Lions (0-0) vs Indiana State Sycamores (0-0)
The Pat - Hammond, LA
Game 1: 1pm Friday Feb 17
Game 2: 1pm Saturday Feb 18
Game 3: 1pm Sunday Feb 19

The Line on the Lions (2011 Final Stats)
Offense:  .287
Pitching:  3.91 ERA/.271 OBA
Defense:  .959
Ranking: N/R
Boyd's World RPI:  59
Record:  35-22
Last 10 Games:  -
Last 5 Games:  -
Streak:  -

The Line on the Sycamores (2011 Final Stats)
Offense:  .272
Pitching:  4.33 ERA/.254 OBA
Defense:  .976
Ranking:  N/R
Boyd's World RPI:  162
Record:  29-28
Last 10 Games:  -
Last 5 Games:  -
Streak: -

What to Watch For
SLU's top returning hitters from 2011 are Jonathan Pace (.343/1/39), Brock Hebert (.340/2/31), and Cody Gougler (.289/3/27).  Pace and Hebert led the 2011 Lions squad in hitting.  Hebert was also a terror on the bases, stealing 26 of 31 bags.  Indiana State is expected to start a pair of RHP in newcomers Dakota Bacus and Ryan Toegerson on Friday and Sunday.  LHP Sean Manaea (5-5, 4.32 ERA), a preseason All-MVC selection, will take the hill on Saturday.  Manaea was tabbed as Baseball America's #2 prospect from the MVC.

The Lions are expected to start RHP Joseph Koon (2-4, 6.63), LHP Jordan Hymel (4-2, 4.71), and either LHP Buck Bernard or RHP Kaleb Manuel.  Both Bernard and Manuel are newcomers.  Josh Janway (5-2, 3.81) and Stefan Lopez (3.25, 9 Saves) will be the top relief pitchers for SLU.  Lopez, who was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list, recorded 44 strike outs in 36 innings pitched.  The Sycamores top returning hitters are C Jeremy Lucas (.333/3/28), OF Robby Ort (.320/10/53), and 3B Koby Kraemer (.318/4/39).  All three players were named preseason All-MVC.

Last Time They Played - This will be the first ever meeting between the Lions and Sycamores.  Indiana State, who is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, is 6-10 all-time against Southland Conference schools.  ISU took three out four games at Central Arkansas last season.

Protect This House - The Lions are 15-5 in home openers at The Pat since 1992.  Under Jay Artigues the Lions are 5-1 in home openers.  On opening day at The Pat the Lions are 2-1 under Artigues.  The Lions have won two of their three opening weekend series at home under Artigues with a 7-2 record.

Closing Time - SLU closer Stefan Lopez has been named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year watch list.  Lopez, who has 10 career saves, ranks 3rd on the school's All-Time Saves list.  Chris Franklin is the all-time leader with 19 saves.  Lopez was recently tabbed as the SLC's best closer by College Baseball Insider in a poll of the league's coaches.

Who's On First - With graduation and the MLB draft hitting the Lions pretty hard last year, the Lion Nation will need their programs to know who is playing where.  This weekend Artigues could be playing as many as five new position players.  The five guys they are replacing were at least  two year starters.

Eight is Enough - Indiana State returns all eight position players from last year, including four players who hit over .300.  The Sycamores also return their ace from last season.

Fashion Show Coming to Hammond - The all gold uniforms ("Solid Gold") were introduced last weekend during the alumni game and are expected to make appearances throughout the season.  But there is another uniform the Lion Nation will not want to miss.  Make sure you attend all the games because you never know when the newest uniforms will show up.

Lion Nation - The Nation in Lion Nation is growing.  Fast. The Nation grew to include the state of Illinois the last two years with Arlington Heights, IL native Jeff Harkensee playing for the Lions.  This season the Nation grows once again.  As Harry Slade (Baltimore, MD) and Brett Hoffman (Coraopolis, PA) will be looking to make a impact in Hammond.

No comments: