Crucial Stretch For 'Jacks Starts Against UTA
May 9, 2008
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Lumberjacks have found their groove, and it could not have come at a better time. SFA has won eight consecutive games, and is only 1 ½ games back of the final spot in the SLC Tournament with six conference games remaining, beginning this afternoon against Texas-Arlington.
Each of the games can be viewed via Gametracker at www.sfajacks.com, while Saturday and Sunday's games will be broadcasted on KSFA 860 AM locally or on www.ksfa860.com online.
The `Jacks swept Texas State last weekend and now after taking this week off for final exams in the classroom, will be taking their first of two final exams on the field - the first, the series with UTA. SFA (22-25, 9-14) got help last week in the SLC standings as the Mavs and Southeastern Louisiana - the two teams SFA is chasing for a berth in the SLC Tournament - dropped two of three games in their respective series'.
Entering the weekend SFA would move into the league's top eight with a sweep of the Mavs - who currently stand in the No. 7 spot in the SLC, only 2 ½ games ahead of SFA. SE Louisiana - who is only 1 ½ games ahead of the `Jacks - takes on Sam Houston.
SFA played textbook baseball against Texas State, with each of its starters going deep into the game while the defense played errorless baseball the entire series. The offense was good as well, pounding out six home runs in the first two games against the `Cats, then scratching out just enough on Sunday to get the 3-2 win.
During the `Jacks eight-game streak they have hit a dozen home runs and are averaging 8.5 runs-per-game, while the pitching staff has it's team ERA at 3.65. Lance Luetge, who tossed a complete game two weeks ago at Nicholls, will take the hill on Friday before Erik Gregersen's turn in the rotation comes up on Saturday.
Kevin Crabtree, Sean Meyers and Jeff Brewer have been the offensive sparkplugs for SFA during the streak with Brewer leading the way with a .469 average in the last eight games. Crabtree currently is riding a 14-game hit streak, while Brewer and Meyers each have eight-game streaks of their own.
UTA has lost seven of its last nine, including two of three last weekend against Nicholls State, after a seven-game win streak that saw them upset Texas and Oklahoma State on back-to-back nights. First-year head coach Darin Thomas will throw a lefty - Ryan Robinson - on Friday before a pair of right-handers - Nathan Long and Andy Sauter - take the bump on Saturday and Sunday.
David McCleod leads five Mavericks that are hitting over .300 with his .380 average; however, the Maverick offense is not one that will look for the long ball as the team only has 18 home runs on the year compared to SFA's 43. Michael Choice leads them in that category with five, with only three other players having at least three.
Projected pitching matchups vs Texas-Arlington
SFA: Lance Luetge (LHP) 5-6, 4.07 ERA, 73.0 IP, 33K, 33BB
UTA: Ryan Robinson (LHP) 5-4, 4.18 ERA, 64.1 IP, 29K, 19BB
SFA: Erik Gregersen (RHP) 2-2, 6.75 ERA, 61.1 IP, 59K, 31BB
UTA: Nathan Long (RHP) 4-4, 5.46 ERA, 64.1 IP, 48K, 20BB
UTA: Andy Sauter (RHP) 4-2, 4.50 ERA, 68.0 IP, 44K, 21BB