Bulldogs welcome fans to Love Shack for weekend series

Louisiana Tech opened the new J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park last weekend with a three-game series sweep over Southern.

This time around, the Diamond ‘Dogs will open the new Love Shack in style as fans will be allowed into the facility to watch for the first time.

LA Tech (4-3) starts the three-game series against in-state foe McNeese State this evening at 6 o’clock. Saturday’s game will start at 2 p.m. while Sunday’s contest has the first pitch set at 1.

The team went 3-0 at home against the Jaguars, outscoring them 26-7. However, the Bulldogs had another midweek setback as they fell at UL-Lafayette for a second time this season. They left 10 runners on base in the 7-2 loss to the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Bulldog slugger Philip Matulia leads Conference USA in batting average (.500) and on-base percentage (.545). Matulia has tallied a base hit in four straight games, going 7-for-11 in the park’s opening weekend in late February.

Preseason All-American Parker Bates is right behind Matulia, batting .414 with a team-high 12 hits, four of which have been doubles. Cole McConnell and Adarius Myers are two more Bulldogs currently batting .400 or better through seven games this season.

The weekend rotation is set to feature Jonathan Fincher (Friday), Ryan Jennings (Saturday) and Jarret Whorff (Sunday). All three have a victory under their belt and have combined for 31 strikeouts and just eight walks.

McNeese State (5-3) carries a five-game winning streak into Ruston. The Cowboys are coming off a 4-3 win over UL-Lafayette in Lake Charles this past Wednesday, which capped a 5-0 home stand.

Leading the Cowboys at the plate has been Clayton Rasbeary, the reigning Southland Conference Hitter of the Week. The right fielder currently leads the team and the SLC with a .548 batting average and has hit safely in all eight games this season, including five multi-hit performances.

McNeese’s Will Dion, this week’s National Pitcher of the Week by multiple publications (19 strikeouts in a win last week), will take the mound for Friday followed by Ty Abraham on Saturday and Christian Vega on Sunday.

LA Tech has won five of its past six games versus McNeese State, winning four straight from 2017-19.

All three games can be seen online at CUSA.tv (subscription required). Fans can also listen to the Voice of the Bulldogs Dave Nitz call the action on the LA Tech Sports Network.

PHOTO: by Tom Morris

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