Bulldogs return home for final C-USA baseball series

Pictured is J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park (Photo by TOM MORRIS)

Staff report

After the travel headache of finishing off a nine-game road swing in Miami and Baton Rouge, coupled with the headache of weather delays and cancellations, the Louisiana Tech baseball team is glad to be back in Ruston.

In fact, the Bulldogs will not leave J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson for the remainder of the calendar month (and maybe beyond that).

LA Tech, ranked 14th nationally, plays its final six regular season games of the 2021 season in Ruston as well as hosting the Air Force Reserve Conference USA Baseball Championship. First on the docket is hosting UTSA for a four-game Conference USA series.

Game times at the Love Shack are 6 p.m. on Friday. a doubleheader (two 7-inning contests) beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday and the finale at 1 p.m. Sunday.

It will mark the eighth and final league series, and there is a C-USA West Division title on the line.

The Bulldogs (33-13, 19-7 C-USA) currently sit half a game back of Southern Miss in the division. The Golden Eagles travel down to Boca Raton, Florida to take on Florida Atlantic for four games.

It is also sure to be an emotional weekend as LA Tech will honor six seniors from the 2020 season, all of which returned for their extra year of eligibility. The Senior Day ceremony will take place before the Sunday afternoon finale.

LA Tech is set to ride the same four starters – Jonathan Fincher, Ryan Jennings, Cade Gibson and Jarret Whorff. The rotation has a combined record of 22-7 on the mound this season.

Offensively, Taylor Young paces the Bulldogs in the leadoff spot. The second baseman leads the league and ranks third nationally with 56 runs scored. Right behind him in the order is Hunter Wells who ranks second in C-USA and ninth nationally with 67 hits.

UTSA (21-21, 13-14 C-USA) enters the weekend coming off a 2-2 league split with 19th-ranked Old Dominion. The Roadrunners, who have one of the most potent offenses in the league, racked up 36 runs over four games against the Monarchs.

They currently sit in third place in the West Division standings.

The Bulldogs have won six of the past 10 meetings, winning four straight in the series behind a 13-0 road win in 2018 and a clean sweep of the Roadrunners in 2019.

The first three games of this weekend’s series will stream live on CUSA.tv. Sunday’s series finale will stream live on ESPN+. Fans can listen to the Voice of the Bulldogs Dave Nitz call the action on KNBB 97.7 FM or the LA Tech Athletics app.

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