Diamond Dogs, Techsters set for C-USA weekend action

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Commuications

Bulldog Baseball

Louisiana Tech opens Conference USA action this weekend hosting Charlotte in a three-game series at JC Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.

Today’s first pitch is set for 6 p.m. followed by Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m.). The games can be heard on the LA Tech Sports Network on 97.7 FM and the LA Tech Athletics app.

The Bulldogs (9-8) are coming off a midweek split with Air Force. The two games were the complete opposite on the mound as LA Tech recorded its first shutout of the season in game one with four pitchers combining for 17 strikeouts in route to a 5-0 victory. In game two, the Bulldogs gave up 13 hits and allowed nine freebies in a 12-10 loss to the Falcons.

Charlotte (6-10) enters the weekend having lost two straight and six of its last seven (four of those defeats came against top-25 opponents in Virginia Tech and North Carolina). They have yet to win on the road this season, dropping all four away from home.

Four 49ers – Jack Dragum, Austin Knight, Jake Cunningham, and Cam Fisher – made the preseason All-Conference USA team. Fisher has been the best 49er thus far, batting .368 with an OPS of 1.438. He has recorded 21 hits with 10 of those leaving the yard (the 10 home runs ranks third in the country). Pitching wise, Wyatt Hudepohl has made four starts, having thrown a team-high 23.1 innings.

LA Tech begins its ninth season of C-USA baseball (2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19). This will be the seventh series meeting between LA Tech and Charlotte. The 49ers own a 13-8 edge in the series, but the Bulldogs have won four of the last five meetings.


Lady Techsters Softball

The Lady Techsters travels to Miami for their first road conference series of the season when they visit FIU for a three-game series starting tonight.

First pitch is 5 p.m. CT tonight and then a Saturday doubleheader is scheduled for 12 p.m. CT. The games can be heard through the Listen Live link on the 2023 schedule page. It can also be seen through a paid subscription to CUSATV.com.

Louisiana Tech (16-8, 1-2) is coming off a dominant 5-0 win over Northwestern State on March 14. Mary Martinez (3 inn.), Brook Melnychuk (3 inn.), and Alyssa Martin (1 inn.) combined for a three-hit shutout. While Amanda Gonzalez recorded her 30th career multi-hit game with two hits in the ballgame.

First baseman Jordyn Manning and centerfielder Sierra Sacco are on five-game hitting streaks.

Pitching has played a vital role this season for the Lady Techsters, as they hold a team ERA of 1.72. Mary Martinez leads the Techsters in the circle with a 5-1 record and 1.15 ERA in 30.1 innings pitched. Allie Floyd leads Tech in innings thrown with 52.2 while owning a 1.73 ERA and a team-best .93 WHIP (walk hits per inning).

Emma Hutchinson has been dominant against left-handed hitters this season, as opposing lefties are batting just .140 against her. The Lady Techster staff has been phenomenal at escaping jams this season. Opposing hitters are 0-14 against them with the bases loaded and batting .199 with runners in scoring position.

Right fielder Kylie Neel leads LA Tech with a .357 batting average, including 25 hits, while recording five doubles, 23 RBI, 17 runs scored, and 10 walks. Her 23 RBI rank fourth among all Conference USA players.

The Panthers (14-13, 1-2) are coming off a 1-2 weekend in their opening series of conference play at Charlotte.

Isabella Perez leads FIU at the plate with a .344 batting average and 16 RBI. Ashton Landsell leads the Panthers in home runs and total bases with five and 45, respectively.

In the circle, they are led by Megan Kruger, who is 5-2 with a 1.70 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 37 innings pitched.

Louisiana Tech and FIU have met 26 times, with the Panthers leading the all-time series, 16-10.  

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