SFA Hosts Bears For Conference Opener
March 5, 2009
vs Central Arkansas (6-3, 0-0 SLC) - March 6, 3:00 p.m.
vs Central Arkansas (6-3, 0-0 SLC) - March 7, 2:00 p.m.
vs Central Arkansas (6-3, 0-0 SLC) - March 8, 1:00 p.m.
Jaycees Field (1,000) - NACOGDOCHES, Texas
Probable Pitching Matchups:
Friday: SFA - Erik Gregersen, RHP (1-0, 2.45 ERA, 11.0 IP, 11K, 5BB) Central Arkansas - Jeremy Cloud, RHP (1-0, 5.40 ERA, 11.2 IP, 6K, 2BB)
Saturday: SFA - Erich Lehmann, RHP (0-2, 9.35 ERA, 8.2 IP, 9K, 0BB) Central Arkansas - Matt Humphrey, RHP (0-0, 5.06 ERA, 5K, 6BB)
Sunday: SFA - Brett Rogers, RHP (1-0, 5.73 ERA, 11.0 IP, 4K, 3BB) Central Arkansas - Brandon Solberg, LHP (2-0, 2.38 ERA, 11.1 IP, 9K, 7BB)
THIS WEEK SFA opens up Southland Conference play at home with a three-game series against Central Arkansas. The `Jacks are coming off a pair of losses to No. 4 Texas A&M in midweek action.
UCA is playing well, having won four straight games including a 4-3, 10-inning, win over Missouri State on Wednesday. SFA has won five of six games all-time against UCA, including 2 of 3 last year in Conway.
FOLLOW THE 'JACKS RADIO: Fans can follow Friday and Saturday's game via UCA radio with Chris Rhoades on the call. It can be found at www.ucasports.com.
SFA radio will make its season debut on Sunday on KSFA 860 AM with Ben Rikard on the mic. Pregame begins at 12:45 p.m. with first pitch at 1:00 p.m.
LIVE STATS: Viewers can follow the 'Jacks series versus Central Arkansas via Gametracker on www.sfajacks.com.
UPDATING THE 'JACKS The `Jacks played well in midweek action, but fell twice to No. 4 Texas A&M. SFA has lost three of its last four games overall, with three of its last four losses coming by two runs or less.
UP NEXT There will ony be a single day off for SFA on Monday before the `Jacks welcome Louisiana Tech to Jaycees Field on Tuesday. The `Jacks and Bulldogs will play a home-and-home set with SFA going to Ruston, La., on Wednesday.
TANNER TOUGH TO STRIKE OUT: Tanner Hines is demonstrating to the `Jacks lineup just how to be a contact hitter. The San Jacinto transfer struck out for the first time this year on Wednesday against Texas A&M, but it wasn't until his 33rd at-bat of the year that it happened. That mark was just short of the SFA record to open a season as in 2006, Clay Britton opened up the year by not fanning in his first 37 at-bats. Hines has the lowest strikeout total of any player in the Southland Conference with at least 30 at-bats.
GREGERSEN GOING WELL: When Erik Gregersen returned to SFA for his senior season after being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2008 MLB Draft, he knew there were still several aspects of his game to work on. Well, through two starts it looks as though he is moving in the right direction. He currently sports a 2.45 ERA through two starts, having gone 5.0 innings against Mississippi Valley State and 6.0 innings against UT-Arlington. Before this season he had made only six appearances of at least 5.0 innings in three seasons, all coming in `08; however, his first two starts this season mark the first time in his career he has gone at least 5.0 innings and allowed three or less runs in back-to-back games.
MR. ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD: Freshman Brett Rogers felt right at home on the mound in his collegiate debut on Sunday when he led SFA to a 7-2 win over Northwestern State. Rogers went eight innings in only 97 pitches for the win, scattering 11 hits in his time on the bump. That outing was the longest outing by a freshman pitcher for SFA since Erich Lehmann in 2006. That year Lehmann finished off the year on fire, picking up three consecutive complete game wins in the final three games of the season against TAMUCC, SE Lousiana and Sam Hosuton.
CARDENAS CRACKS WIN COLUMN: With SFA's 7-2 win on over Northwestern State, head coach Johnny Cardenas was able to earn his first win as a collegiate head coach. The 2007 Texas Collegiate League Coach of the Year, Cardenas was SFA's top assistant before being promoted to head coach in July. He is the only first-year head coach in the Southland Conference this season, while JP Davis (NWLA), Scott Malone (TAMUCC), Darin Thomas (UTA) and Terry Burrows (McNeese) all debuted with their schools in 2008.
SEAN'S STREAK STOPPED: First baseman/DH Sean Meyers picked up an RBI on Wednesday against Texas A&M, but finished 0-for-3 on the day, snapping an 11-game hit streak that had dated back to the final series of 2008. He was the only Lumberjack to hit safely in each game so far in 2009, and still leads the team with his .429 average. During that 11-game streak Meyers hit .478 (22/46) with two home runs, five doubles, a triple, 13 RBi and eight runs scored.
THE GARDNER DID IT: Zach Gardner is climbing quickly climbing the SFA record books, and with his eighth career triple against Houston tied Noel Trevino for the most ever at SFA. McNeese's Shon Landry (12) and UTSA's Michael Rockett (9) are the only active players in the SLC with more career triples. He also swiped a base against Texas A&M, giving him 22 for his career, placing him sixth all-time and only eight steals behind Jeff Brewer and Kai Kirby for the all-time top spot.
JAYCEES GETS A FACELIFT: Beginning in the fall of 2008, the home of SFA Baseball, Jaycees Field, underwent several renovations including elevating the press box and adding new seating. SFA sank nearly $200,000 dollars into the project that includes creating a new playing field for SFA's softball team as well. At Jaycees Field, though, a new 740-seat bleacher system in addition to chair-back seating in a covered center section in front of the press box that was elevated nearly 30 feet.
LUCKY (OR UNLUCKY) NUMBER SEVEN: SFA has found a key to winning over the past three seasons, and it is scoring at least seven runs that is usually no surprise. With the powerful offenses that the team has had over the past two seasons, it is no surprise that SFA has scored at least seven runs in 71 games since 2006, going 53-18 (.746) in those games; however, the 'Jacks have scored less than seven 107 times since 2006, going only 18-89 (.168) in those games. The 2008 season was alsmost divided directly down that line as SFA went 22-6 in games where they scored at least seven times, and were 3-23 in games in which they scored less than seven. This year the `Jacks have scored at least seven on four occassions, going 3-1 in those contests and 0-5 when scoring less than seven runs.
POWER SURGE: The `Jacks had only gone long two times in its first seven games, but ironically had three home runs in only two games against one of the nation's top pitching staffs on Tuesday and Wednesday at Texas A&M. Sean Meyers, Ryan Sinclair and Bo Coffman each went deep against the Aggies to bring the SFA home run total to five on the year. Unfortunately only Zach Gardner's home run against UTA on Feb. 27th came with someone on base, though, as his two-run shot helped the `Jacks roll to a 12-6 win that day. SFA is 2-2 on the year when it hits a home run, with Coffman being the only Lumberajack with multiple homers so far this year.
BREAK OUT THE ROLAIDS: Or if you need relief, just look at the SFA bullpen recently. Over the last five games the `Jacks bullpen has thrown 18.1 innings, allowing, sporting a 2.95 ERA as a staff. Ironically five of the six earned runs allowed in that span were given up by only one pitcher. The relief trio of Alex Moshier, Chris Court and Richard Folmer has been outstanding all year, allowing only a single earned run between them in a combined 13 innings of relief.
`JACKS NAMED ALL-TOURNAMENT: Tanner Hines and Brett Rogers were both named to the all-tournament team at the ULM Warhawk Classic over the weekend after helping SFA go 1-2 in three tries. Hines Hines was 4-for-7 in his first two games as a Lumberjack, finishing with a .364 average for the tournament with a pair of runs, an RBI and solid defense at shortstop. Rogers was arguably the most impressive of any of the `Jacks, though, with his eight-inning win in the tournament finale against Northwestern State. The true freshman had the longest pitching performance of any player in the tournament, holding NWLA to just two runs in his stint with a pair of strikeouts and only one walk.
PROTECTING THEIR HOUSE: The 'Jacks, not unlike most teams, have been much more productive at home than on the road in the past two seasons. SFA went 18-6 in 2007 at home and followed that up with a 17-11 record at home in 2008. Not surprisingly, during the `Jacks' nine-game win streak late in the 2008 season six of those nine wins came at home. Even more impressive is the way SFA has closed each of the last three seasons at home, posting an 11-4 record in the month of May at home since 2006.
RECORD CHASERS: Several Lumberjacks are chasing after the top spot in the SFA record books in a number of categories this year including Erich Lehmann, Richard Folmer and Zach Gardner. Lehmann is one of only two Lumberjack pitchers to have 200 career strikeouts (210) and needs only 11 K's to move past Sean Wood for the all-time lead, while also needing only 35.1 more innings to top the innings pitched category as well. Richard Folmer earned his 10th career save on Sunday to tie Kevin Buchanan for the second most all-time.
SENIOR CYCLE: The 2009 season will mark the fourth season with baseball back at SFA, and will mark the first four-year senior crop of players to make the full cycle through the program. Erik Gregersen, Zach Gardner, Erich Lehmann, Jared Schrom and Richard Folmer are each seniors that were part of the initial freshman recruiting class that opened up play in 2006.