RUSTON, La. — Under unique circumstances, WKU Baseball makes a trip to The Pelican
State for a three-game series against Louisiana Tech from May 10-12. The
Friday-to-Sunday series between the Hilltoppers and Bulldogs is scheduled to have
first pitch times of 6 p.m., 4 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. The series was moved
to Louisiana Monroe’s Warhawk Field due to the devastating damage caused by a
tornado to the Bulldogs’ J.C. Love Field the night of April 25.
Due to iffy weather patterns expected to move through the region over the next few
days, more changes to the weekend schedule could occur. Because of this uncertainty,
online streaming capabilities for the series are TBD at this time.
WKU will send righty Reece Calvert, lefty Troy Newell and righty Joe Filosa to the
bump, while LA Tech will respond with the trio of righty Matt Miller, lefty David
Leal and lefty Logan Bailey. Two wins would officially secure the Hilltoppers’ first
Conference USA Tournament berth in the program’s five seasons in the league,
although WKU could clinch a spot this weekend in other scenarios.
* The Hilltoppers and Bulldogs will meet for the 39th, 40th and 41st times on
* LA Tech boasts a 21-17 all-time series advantage over WKU, as the Bulldogs
have taken 8-of-12 from the Hilltoppers over the past four years in C-USA play.
* WKU and LA Tech met 26 times as Sun Belt Conference foes from 1992-to-2001,
with the series knotted 13-13 in those matchups.
* The Hilltoppers won 6-of-7 from 1992-to-1996 to open the all-time series, but
the Bulldogs took 7-of-8 from 2000-to-2001 to cap the head-to-head games in the
* Last week, the Hilltoppers secured a three-game sweep of the Owls for the
first time in program history. After losing 10 consecutive games to Rice since
joining C-USA prior to the 2015 season, WKU has now won five straight games in the
head-to-head series. The Hilltopper pitching staff has held the Owl offense to
only 20 runs in 53 innings over the past two years.
* Of WKU’s 23 wins, 12 have been comeback victories and one was a comeback tie,
including seven wins and one tie in league action for the Hilltoppers.
* WKU has played four doubleheaders this season and boasts a 7-1 record in those
games. The Hilltoppers swept twin-bills vs. Eastern Illinois (Feb. 24), Charlotte
(March 29) and Rice (May 3), while splitting one at Marshall (April 13).
* WKU is 7-15 away from Nick Denes Field, although the Hilltoppers are 4-3 in
their past seven such contests.
* WKU is 7-3 in one-run games, but the Hilltoppers have not played a one-run
contest in their past 15, dating back to an 8-7 victory vs. Belmont on April 9.
* The Hilltoppers are 8-0 when their starting pitcher goes five-plus innings,
11-4 when scoring in the first inning, 18-5 when out-hitting or equaling the
number of hits as their opponent and 18-12-1 when allowing zero or one homeruns.
* Outfielder Jake Sanford has hit at least one homerun in 10 consecutive weekend
series, with two homeruns in six of those weekend series. The junior from
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, has at least a .333 batting average, .429 on-base
percentage and .727 slugging percentage in eight C-USA weekend series. In 17 games
in the month of April, Sanford slashed .462/.573/.815 with five homeruns, six
doubles, 14 runs batted in, 30 hits and 21 runs scored.
* In 46 games this season, Hilltopper hitters in the spot ahead of Sanford in
the lineup have combined to go 67-for-184 with 47 runs, 39 RBI and a
.364/.451/.571 slash line. That group consists of Jack Wilson (11 games), Richard
Constantine (eight games), Davis Sims (22 games) and Matt Phipps (five games).
* Righty Bailey Sutton has earned a win and a save in each of the past two
weekends at UTSA and vs. Rice. All the other relievers in C-USA combined have
accomplished that feat only two times in league play (Braxton Smith of LA Tech and
Colby Bruce of Charlotte, each one time).
LA TECH PREVIEW
* The Bulldogs enter the week with a 30-19 overall record, including a 13-11
mark in C-USA play. After
winning five consecutive C-USA series, LA Tech was swept at Rice and dropped
2-of-3 at Old Dominion over the past two weekends.
* LA Tech cranked out 12 runs on 17 hits, en route to a wire-to-wire win over
the Tigers in front of 10,304 in attendance at Alex Box Stadium. The road win
marked the Bulldogs’ first road win over LSU since the 1983 season. The 11-run
difference was the largest in a LA Tech victory over the Tigers since 1933.
* First baseman Mason Mallard is one of the lone C-USA hitters to keep within a
reasonable pace of Sanford this season with the bat, at least in one category. His
.373 batting average stands second in the league — 47 points behind Sanford’s .420
mark — while he leads the league with 58 runs scored — one ahead of Sanford’s 57.
The senior Bulldog is slashing .373/.473/.551 with 18 extra-base hits, 18 stolen
bases and 31 runs batted in.
* Righty Matt Miller has made a start in all eight C-USA weekends, going 4-1
with a 2.94 earned runs average in 52 innings pitched. The senior, who will start
Game 1 of the series, has struck out 62 in league play while allowing only 18
walks and 38 base hits for a .202 batting average against.