Field is Set for the Southland Baseball Tournament

Southeastern Louisiana, led by Brandon Street’s .348 batting average, is trying to secure the No. 2 seed -Courtesy: Southland.org
Southeastern Louisiana, led by Brandon Street’s .348 batting average, is trying to secure the No. 2 seed -Courtesy: Southland.org

FRISCO, Texas – Texas State clinched its third regular-season Southland Conference baseball championship last weekend and its 4-0 week, which included a road win at No. 2 Rice and a sweep of Nicholls State, has the Bobcats ranked 25th this week by Collegiate Baseball.

The Bobcats will be the No. 1 seed in the 2009 Southland Conference Baseball Championship, which will be played May 20-23 at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi. The other seven spots in the tournament have been field, but seeding has yet to be determined entering the final week of the regular season, which has teams scheduled to play Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Southeastern Louisiana enters the week alone in second place at 20-10, but there is a three-way tie for third between Lamar, UT Arlington and UTSA. Those three teams are two games in back of the Lions at 18-12. Northwestern State is currently sixth at 16-12. Sam Houston is seventh and 16-13 and Stephen F. Austin is currently eighth at 13-16. The other four teams in the league – Central Arkansas, McNeese State, Nicholls State and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi – have been eliminated from tournament consideration.

This week, Texas State is at UT Arlington, Southeastern Louisiana is at Northwestern State, Lamar is at Stephen F. Austin, Central Arkansas is at UTSA, A&M-Corpus Christi is at Sam Houston State and McNeese State is at Nicholls State.

Central Arkansas

19-27, 10-19 Southland

Central Arkansas snapped a four-game losing streak with an 8-2 victory over Sam Houston State in the second game of a rain-shortened series last weekend … Blake Roberts had two hits in each game against the Bearkats … pitcher Reece Cross struck out seven and allowed four hits in the complete-game victory in game two … Tye Throneberry leads the Bears with a .357 batting average … Dillon Smith has driven in a team-high 41 RBI while Jonathan Yerby is tied for fourth in the league with 13 home runs … Jeremy Cloud leads the team with 60 strikeouts, which is tied for fourth in the Southland.

Lamar

34-19, 18-12 Southland

Lamar took two of three from UT Arlington last week to move into a third-place tie in the standings with UTSA and UTA … the Cardinals have won 10 of their last 12 games after losses in six of their previous seven … Tyler Link leads Lamar with a .387 batting average, which ranks 11th in the league … he is also the team leader with 79 hits and seven home runs … Brian Taylor has driven in 55 runs to rank fourth in the league … Ricky Testa is second in the league with 77 strikeouts … he is one of six Southland players to have won seven games … freshman Eric Harrington is 7-1 and leads the league with a 2.68 ERA.

McNeese State

20-29, 9-21 Southland

McNeese State is riding a five-game losing streak after getting swept by UTSA … the Cowboys have lost 12 of their last 13 games after winning five of the previous six … Ryan Brauninger leads the Cowboys with a .352 batting average and 13 doubles … Taylor Freeman and Sam Merrill each have 62 hits while Lee Orr is tied for the Southland lead with 15 home runs … Merrill has added 12 homers … McNeese ranks fourth in batting (.315), third in slugging (.483) and second in on-base percentage (.410) … the club’s 59 home runs rank third … Matt Click leads the Cowboys with 42 strikeouts, while Tyler Davis has four wins.

Nicholls State

18-31, 8-22 Southland

Nicholls State is riding a six-game losing streak after getting swept in its last two conference series … had Texas State on the ropes Friday night before falling 11-9 in 11 innings … Scott Moseley leads the team with a .346 batting average, 62 hits, 12 doubles and 37 RBI … the Colonels have hit only 11 home runs this season but boast three of the top-four stolen bases totals in the conference … Chris Murrill has stolen 26-of-31 bases, while Keith Kulbeth is 16-of-19 and Moseley is 16-of-21 … the Colonels’ 4.79 team ERA ranks fourth in the Southland … Jarret Dunnam ranks fifth in the league with a 3.41 ERA.

Northwestern State

24-23, 16-12 Southland

Northwestern State enters the weekend sixth in the standings after sweeping Texas A&M-Corpus Christi … the Demons have swept each of their last two Southland series to win seven of their last eight games … the lone blemish came in extra innings to Louisiana-Monroe … Justin O’Neal was the hitter of the week in Louisiana last week after he blasted three home runs and knocked in 11 Joe Urtuzuastegui leads the team with a .379 batting average, which ranks 12th in the league … O’Neal leads the squad with 72 hits, 11 home runs and 50 RBI … Jimmy Heard is one of six Southland pitchers to win at least seven games.

Sam Houston State

30-21, 16-13 Southland

The Bearkats split a rain-shortened two-game series at Central Arkansas last weekend and sit seventh in the standings … Sam Houston has won just twice in their last 10 games … Nick Zaleski is batting .416 to rank fourth in the Southland, while Braeden Riley is batting .397 to rank seventh in the league … Zaleski also leads the team with 53 RBI … Riley paces the Southland with 96 hits, eight more than Michael Rockett … Sean Weatherford, who shared pitcher of the week honors with teammate Guillaume Duguay after combining to strike out 22 at UCA, is tied for fourth in the league with 60 strikeouts.

Southeastern Louisiana

31-17, 18-9 Southland

Southeastern Louisiana dropped the first game of the Stephen F. Austin series last weekend … it is the team’s only blemish in its last 12 games … by taking two of three, the Lions stand alone in second place, carrying a two-game lead into the final weekend … Brandon Street is batting .348 and has seven home runs to lead the Lions … Ty Summerlin has 73 hits and 20 doubles to pace the team … Cass Hargis has scored 56 runs, the fifth highest conference total … the Lions rank fifth in both batting and fielding and seventh in pitching … Chris Frank has 12 saves and is tied with SFA’s Richard Folmer for the league lead.

Stephen F. Austin

22-27, 13-16 Southland

Stephen F. Austin has qualified for its second ever appearance in the conference tournament … they won the opening game of the series at Southeastern La. before dropping the final two games … they had won seven of their previous nine games … Sean Meyers, who was 8-for-13 against SLU, leads the team with a .418 average, which ranks third in the Southland … he also leads the team with 77 hits, 17 doubles, six home runs and 47 RBI … Erich Lehmann, who strikeout five and did not allow an earned run in six innings vs. SLU, is one of six conference pitchers with at least seven wins … his 4.09 ERA ranks 10th.

UT Arlington

28-23, 18-12 Southland

UT Arlington upset No. 17 Oklahoma last Tuesday in Arlington before losing 2-of-3 at Lamar last weekend … Andrew Kainer, who leads the Southland with 23 doubles, had his conference record 36-game hit streak snapped Saturday … it was the longest hit streak in the nation this season … he was 4-for-4 on Friday and finished the week 6-for-15 with six RBI … Matt Otteman leads the Southland with a .431 batting average and his 87 hits rank third in the league … his 58 RBI rank second … Michael Choice has 83 hits to rank fourth … Choice has scored 58 runs to rank fourth … UTA is tied for third entering the weekend.

UTSA

29-21, 18-12 Southland

UTSA swept McNeese State to climb back into a three-way tie for third place in the standings … the Roadrunners have won 10 of their last 13 games with losses only coming to ranked teams … Ryan Hutson was this week’s hitter of the week after going 9-for-13 with four home runs, 10 RBI and six runs scored … he was 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs and five RBI in the series opener at McNeese … Michael Rockett is batting .389 to pace UTSA and rank eighth in the league … he also leads the league with 141 total bases and his 88 hits rank second … Red Patterson ranks third in the league with 74 strikeouts.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

17-36, 8-22 Southland

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi was swept last weekend by Northwestern State to run its losing streak to seven games … the loss to the Demons Friday combined with a win by Stephen F. Austin eliminated the Islanders from postseason consideration … Jeramie Marek leads the Islanders with a .333 batting average … Martin Parra leads the team with 66 hits and 41 RBI … Marek adds 61 hits … Stephen Flora paces A&M-Corpus Christi with 17 doubles and has hit nine home runs though Trey Hernandez is the team leader with 12 … Brandon Orr has 39 strikeouts to lead the Islanders.

Texas State

37-12, 23-6 Southland

Texas State wrapped up its first outright Southland championship with a sweep of Nicholls State last weekend … it was a 4-0 week for the Bobcats, which also won at No. 2 Rice … Texas State is ranked 25th by Collegiate Baseball … has won six in a row and 18 of 20 …Spenser Dennis is batting .423 to rank second in the conference … Paul Goldschmidt has driven in 74 runs to set the Southland standard … he is also tied for the league lead with 15 home runs … Tyler Sibley (67) and Goldschmidt (60) rank 2-3 in runs scored … Kane Holbrooks leads the Southland in wins and is 9-1 with a 3.28 ERA to rank third in the league.