Cards Baseball at LA Tech Wednesday
RUSTON, La. – Fueled by a pair of weekend victories over then 25th-ranked Baylor and fresh from helping Jim Gilligan attain his 1,200th victory as Lamar University’s head baseball coach, the Cardinals will play their final tune-up for Southland Conference action Wednesday night when they meet Louisiana Tech at Ruston’s Love Field.
From Ruston, the Cardinals will bus to Conway, Ark., where they will open SLC play Friday night in the first of a three-game series. The Cardinals, who defeated Baylor 8-0 and 8-7 and lost decisions of 17-0 and 4-1 to UC Irvine during the three-day Baylor Classic, are 4-6 on the season.
Louisiana Tech, a former SLC, American South Conference and Sun Belt Conference rival of Lamar, was 7-4 going into a Tuesday night game at Centenary College. This past weekend, the Bulldogs dropped two of three road games at Middle Tennessee State.
The Cardinals last played Louisiana Tech in 2006 when the teams split a two-game series in Ruston. The Bulldogs won the first game 14-5, and the Cardinals claimed the second 9-4. Overall, Louisiana Tech holds a slim 54-52 edge in the series.
Led by left fielder Jeff Abt’s .378 average, the Cardinals will take a .267 team batting average into the Louisiana Tech game. The Cardinals’ team earned run average is 5.54, although junior left-hander Jonathan Dziedzic, who pitched the complete-game shutout of Baylor last week, boasts a 0.00 mark in three appearances.
Abt, a 6-foot-5, 206-pound senior from Spring, has the Cardinals’ longest current hitting streak of seven games, and he’s fresh from demonstrating his versatility by coming in from left field to chalk up a save in the 8-7 Sunday decision over Baylor by getting a clutch, game-ending strikeout with two runners on base.
During his seven-game hitting streak, Abt has gone 11-for-25 for a .440 batting average. He has collected three doubles and one triple and driven in four runs during that span.
Meanwhile, Central Arkansas was 4-6 going into a Tuesday night game at Mississippi Valley State. Lamar holds a 9-6 series advantage over the Bears, and last year’s Cardinals won two of three games, winning the series opener 7-1 and the finale 15-5 after dropping the middle game 8-7.
Tuesday, March 6 2012, 05:38 PM CST