BASEBALL RETURNS HOME TO FACE LOUISIANA TECH
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• After two weekends away from home, the Sacramento State baseball team will host Louisiana Tech in a three-game Western Athletic Conference series running from Friday through Sunday. The first game will get under way at 3 p.m. Saturday's contest will start at 1 p.m. and the first pitch of the finale is scheduled for noon.
• Sacramento State improved to 24-17 overall with a pair of wins during the week The team shut out Saint Mary's, 3-0, on Tuesday before winning, 7-2, at San Francisco on Wednesday.
• The Hornets are 8-7 in the WAC after dropping two of three at UTSA last weekend. Included in that series was a 12-1 Sacramento State win on Saturday.
• Louisiana Tech is 14-28 overall and 2-13 in conference games. The Bulldogs were swept at home by New Mexico State in its most recent conference action. Those three losses extended their WAC losing streak to eight straight games.
• An audio broadcast of all three games of the series will streamed for free via hornetsports.com with Kyle Madson calling the action
• Live stats for all games can be also viewed on hornetsports.com.
• La Tech is one of the few remaining teams in the conference in which the Hornets have a history. The Bulldogs lead the all-time series, 16-12, and have won five of the last eight meetings. Sacramento State took two of three in Ruston, La., last season.
Below is a look at how Sacramento State stacks up against this weekend's opponent in overall statistics.
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A LOOK BACK AT THE UTSA SERIES
Sacramento State lost three game series at UTSA, 2-1. The first two games broke the norm for the team and were not close before the third one was decided in the final innings.
On Friday, the Hornets scored first and led 2-0 after the top of the fourth. However, from that point, UTSA scored the final seven runs to win 7-2. The Roadrunners picked up single runs in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh before adding three in the eighth.
Sacramento State had just four hits as a team, including a home run from Justin Higley.
On Saturday, the Hornets' offense awoke and run-ruled UTSA, 12-1, in eight innings. Brennan Leitao allowed singles to the first two batters he faced but allowed only one more for the remainder of the game.
All nine Sacramento State hitters had at least one hit and five players had two or more hits, including a 4-for-5 effort by Nathan Lukes.
The Hornets took charge of Sunday's game early on, leading 4-1 before UTSA tied the game, 5-5, at the end of the sixth inning. The score remained tied until the eighth inning when Daniel Rockett hit a two-out three-run home run for an 8-5 Roadrunner win.
A LOOK BACK AT THE SAINT MARY'S GAME
Zach Morgan allowed only four hits in eight innings as Sacramento State swept the season series with Saint Mary's with a 3-0 win on Tuesday at John Smith Field. Freshman Sutter McLoughlin earned his 10th save.
David Del Grande and Nathan Lukes each had two hits to lead the offense as Sacramento State scored once in the second and twice in the fifth.
A LOOK BACK AT THE USF GAME
Home runs by Justin Higley in the first, Will Soto in the second and Andrew Ayers in the third propelled the Hornets to a 7-2 win at San Francisco.
Hunter Greenwood improved to 3-0 with the win after pitching five innings with four hits and two earned runs. Brandon Creel threw the final three innings to earn his first save.
A LOOK AHEAD
Sacramento State will play at Nevada on Tuesday before heading to Seattle for a three-game weekend series against the Redhawks.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
La Tech has relied on its pitching staff, primarily sophomore Phil Maton, in 2013. Maton, who is scheduled to start on Saturday, is 5-4 overall with a 2.69 ERA. He leads the WAC with 67 strikeouts in 67.0 innings.
At the plate, the team is batting .252 but is led by Tyler Ervine who is hitting .300 with three home runs.
The Bulldogs feature 13 players who have started 10 or more games in the lineup with Taylor Terrasas being the only one to appear in all 40 games.
McLOUGHLIN NAMED TO WATCH LIST
Freshman Sutter McLoughlin continued his amazing freshman season with an eventful Tuesday. Early in the day, the Sacramento native was one of 51 players in Div. I named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Watch List.
Later in the day, McLoughlin showed why he earned that spot on the list, earning his 10th save of the season to seal a 3-0 win over Saint Mary's.
The 10 saves moves McLoughlin into a tie for 11th in Div. I this season and also tied the Sacramento State single season Div. I-era record. That mark had been set by Michael Penbera in 2001.
Mike Frame, who also had 11 saves in 1988, owns the overall single season record with 12 in 1989.
McLoughlin is already rocketing up the Hornet career list. His 10 saves tie him with Jeff Roth and Billy Sinacori for fourth place in school history. Trevor Rodgers, who had 12 between 1990-91, is next on the list.
The adage that everything is bigger in Texas apparently holds true for Will Soto's hits. The junior hit .455 at UTSA with a double, two triples and a home run. Soto slugged 1.182 over the three games and drove in three runs while scoring four.
Soto continued to muscle up during the midweek games with a triple against Saint Mary's and a home run at San Francisco.
Of the 15 extra base hits he has this season, six have come over the last five games.
THE BIG FLY
Junior Justin Higley has also seen his power production rise of late. Higley leads the team with eight home runs, is tied for second with 10 doubles and tied for third with a pair of triples.
The Sacramento native homered twice at UTSA and added another in the first inning at USF. His season total ties him for third in the WAC this season.
Nathan Lukes and Chris Lewis are both now closing in on the Sacramento State single season record for hits by a freshman. Current Triple-A outfielder and former first round draft pick Tim Wheeler had 62 hits as a freshman in 2007. Lewis enters the weekend with 53 hits and Lukes is right behind with 52.
Lukes was the top hitter at UTSA, going 7-for-12 (.583) with two doubles and a triple. He's hitting .325 on the year and leads the team with a .404 mark in WAC games.
Lewis' .346 average is the best among Hornets this year. The redshirt freshman has had a pair of 13 game hit streaks which were separated by just a single game. His streak of reaching base in 30 straight games came to an end on Tuesday.