Southern 'Dogs are comin' to town
I've been to that corner of the country as recently as April 2008. Food to die for as it will clog your heart but you'll die with a smile on your face. Best bar-b-que and, of course, southern style cooking that I've ever had was in East Texas and neighboring Louisiana. I did not attend baseball games as I was feeding another passion of mine; birding.
Now let's move on to baseball. Louisiana Tech, which likes their home cooking since most of their players are from either Louisiana or East Texas, comes to town for a four game series which could be a pitching nightmare for them if their starters don't deliver. More on that in a bit.
What has Tech done so far?
They are 1-3 in the WAC after getting whacked by Nevada (at home, mind you) and are 13-12 overall. Their hitting is doing well as a team at .311 which is pretty good. They are being led by senior Kevin Winn at .422, senior Patrick Thomas at .387, junior Devon Dageford at .358, and senior Chris Kersten at .311. The freshman I've been talking about, Alex Williams, is hitting a respectable .289 with three homeruns. Six of the top hitters on the roster are also starters. Homeruns have also come quite easily as Dageford and Kersten have hit nine and eight respectively.
The pitching? Not so good. This has been the theme this year as well as last and they have a serious problem that may not be repaired this year. Team ERA is 7.37 - you make your own decision on that number. Their best pitcher is Dylan Moseley who is 3-2 with and ERA of 3.98, which is more than decent on this team. John Anderson (3-2, 5.93) is the second best, then it starts falling after these two, with most pitchers who get any significant innings being in the 5.00 to 7.00 ERA range. Looking at the stats it appears the main problem might be the strikeout to walks ratio; far too many in the 1:1 range, such as freshman Jeb Stefan's (believed to be the No. 3 starter) at 25:21.
I'll go out on a limb here in that I'm looking for a sweep but 3-1 is acceptable. I think if you were to ask Tech's coach Wade Simoneaux if he thinks things are going as he'd hoped he say "no". Off the record, of course.
By the way, the other 'Dogs come into town sniffing around our trees at the end of the month. Fresno State comes to town to open a four game series on April 24. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
See SJSUSpartans.com for the official game release.
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Don Starks is the Baseball Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Don with any questions, comments, or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org