SFA Baseball Hosts League-Leading UTSA
April 19, 2007
NACOGDOCHES - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks are looking to add to their current three-game win streak this weekend when they host the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners in a key Southland Conference series. After taking two-of-three from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who was tied with the Lumberjacks for sixth place in the league, the Lumberjacks' 8-7 conference record ties them for fifth place with Sam Houston State. This week, Lance Luetge became the third Lumberjack this season to be awarded a conference player of the week award after holding the Islanders hitless through 8.2 innings. He gave up two hits in the bottom of the ninth after striking out a career-high 11 and walking only one to earn his fifth win of the season.
This weekend: The Lumberjacks will host Southland Conference leader Texas-San Antonio in a three-game series at Jaycees Field.
The Roadrunners: UTSA has a 23-15 overall record and is leading the conference with a 13-2 league record. The Roadrunners had started conference play with 10-straight wins before suffering losses to Texas-Arlington and Northwestern State. Trent Lockwood, this week's Aeropostale Southland Conference Hitter of the Week, is leading the Roadrunners with a .376 batting average. He's scored 30 runs off 56 hits and is one of three players with 11 doubles. He also has two triples and seven home runs. From the mound, Saturday's starter Bradley Chovanec has a 4.43 ERA and a 2-4 record. In nine starts, he's thrown 61.0 innings of work and has 38 strikeouts compared to 15 walks. Josh Blakley is the Roadrunners top reliever with a 3.20 ERA. He has a 4-0 record and one save in 16 appearances. In 45.0 innings, he's struck out 37 and walked seven.
Against the Roadrunners: Last season, UTSA swept the Lumberjacks in San Antonio. Earlier this season, the teams faced each other in a non-conference match up at the Al Ogletree Classic hosted by Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. There, SFA suffered a 6-5 loss. UTSA leads the all-time series with a 12-4 record.
The Coaches: SFA's Donnie Watson is in his second season at the helm of the Lumberjack baseball program. In his time with the 'Jacks, Watson has put together a 36-59 (.362) overall record and an SLC mark of 15-29 (.317). Sherman Corbett is in his seventh season as the head coach of the Roadrunners.
The Starters Friday - Erich Lehmann: Sophomore Erich Lehmann struggled in last Friday's outing, pitching 4.0 innings in his second shortest appearance this season. He gave up six runs off eight hits, struck out three and was not a factor in the decision. For the year, Lehmann has struck out 52 and walked only 13. He is currently tied for the most wins in a career with 14. Lehmann is 6-2 this year with a 4.05 ERA.
Saturday - Jared Schrom: Sophomore right hander Jared Schrom earned his third win of the season Saturday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He struck out seven Islanders in SFA's 6-3 win. He gave up two runs off seven hits. Schrom has started 11 games on the mound for the Lumberjacks and has a team-leading 56 Ks in 65.0 innings pitched.
Sunday - Lance Luetge: Senior southpaw Lance Luetge earned the Aeropostale Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week award after his outstanding performance against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Sunday. The Industry, Texas, native did not give up a hit to the league's hottest hitting team until the bottom of the ninth inning. Luetge also fanned a career-high 11 batters in the outing and earned his fifth win of the season for a 5-2 record. In 12 appearances, Luetge has a 3.79 ERA. He also has 43 strikeouts on the season.
Folmer Saves the Day: In 3.2 innings of work over eight days, sophomore Richard Folmer has struck out seven batters. Friday against the Islanders, Folmer suffered his second loss of the season after giving up three runs off a hit and two walks in the bottom of the ninth to let a 9-7 lead slip away. The Houston native returned to the mound Tuesday against Dallas Baptist and pitched 2.1 innings of relief and gave up only two hits while striking out four. He walked one, but kept the Patriots scoreless while earning his team-leading third save of the season.
Home Run Happy: Steven Hill, Kevin Croft and Jeff Brewer have combined for six home runs through their last four games. Each hit at least one home run against the Islanders and Hill hit his SLC-leading 16th home run of the season against Dallas Baptist. In the last four games, Croft is batting .357 with four runs scored and three RBI. Hill, who hit two home runs in Sunday's contest at Corpus Christi, hit his first grand slam of his Lumberjack career. Through the four games, Hill batted .353 with six runs scored and nine RBI. Out of his six hits, four were home runs. Hill's 16 home runs rank third in the nation.
Stolen Bases: In Tuesday's 4-3 win over Dallas Baptist, Zach Gardner was the only batter on either team to collect three hits. It was his third three-hit performance of 2007. The Sugar Land, Texas, native also had a career-high three stolen bases in the outing. He had not collected a stolen base in 13 games. Gardner was on a 15-game hitting streak - a season high for the Lumberjacks - before going hitless Saturday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. He has collected hits in his last two games, reaching safely in 17 of his last 18 games played.
Up Next: SFA will travel to College Station Tuesday to face Texas A&M. The Aggies are currently ranked No. 14 by the Baseball News and if they maintain their ranking, they will be the first top 25 team the Lumberjacks will face this season. After the mid-week game, SFA will host the Nicholls State Colonels in a three-game set in Nacogdoches.