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    Tournament Central: Northwestern State Invitational

    Feb. 24, 2011


    Games 6-8
    Stephen F. Austin (0-0) at
    Northwestern State Invitational


    Game Notes

    2:30 p.m. - Friday, Feb. 25
    3 p.m. - Saturday, Feb. 26

    3 p.m. - Sunday, Feb. 20
    (Click Date/Time for Gametracker)


    Probable Starting Pitchers

    SFA - Tyler Herriage, LHP (0-0, 45.00 ERA, 1.0 IP, 2 K, 5 BB)
    ULM - Drew Granier, RHP (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 5.0 IP, 5 K, 4 BB)
     SFA - Zack Taylor, RHP (1-0, 2.70, 6.2 IP, 6 K, 4 BB)
    NWLA - Colin Bear, RHP (1-0, 1.12, 8.0 IP, 9 K, 2 BB)
    SFA - Justin Braddock, RHP (0-1, 3.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 3 K, 3 BB)
    UNO - Tyler Sanders (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 4 K, 0 BB)



    Series Notes & What To Watch For:

    NOT BREAKING THE BULLPEN: Through five games the SFA bullpen has allowed just four runs – three earned – in 29.0 innings of work. That’s good enough for a 0.93 ERA with 11 pitchers combining to put up those numbers. Opponent’s offenses have only hit .234 against SFA relievers. The pen has inherited 11 runners in that span, allowing just two to score.

    WALKING SHOES: Senior Darren Crabtree has already drawn nine walks in the first five games of the year, making him just the second ‘Jack since 2006 to draw that many walks in the first five games to open a year. Matt Whatley drew nine free passes in 2008, but did have a strikeout in that span, which is something Crabtree has yet to do in 2011. His five walks in the season opener against UALR tied Adam Bosley’s SFA single-game record set in 2008 against Sacred Heart. Five of his walks have come with Bryson Myles standing on second base, with four of those times being immediately after Myles stole second during Crabtree’s at-bat.

    ON THE MOVE: Junior transfer Bryson Myles swiped 53 bags as a junior at Weatherford College, and is on an early pace to put up similar numbers at SFA in 2011. Myles has successfully stolen five bases in six tries to date, which translates to one steal per game here early in the year. The single-season record at SFA for steals stands at 30, set by Kai Kirby in 2008.

    NOT HAVING TO EARN YOUR KEEP: SFA has given up 28 runs through five games, an average of 5.6 per game; however, 21 of those 28 have come in the first two innings, including 14 in the second inning alone. Oddly enough, only nine of those runs have been earned as five of SFA’s seven fielding errors to date have come in the first two innings of play.

    EVERYONE KNOWS YOUR NAME: Entering last season the ‘Jacks were working with with one of the least experienced teams in the Southland, sporting the second-lowest amount of returning players in the league, ahead of only UT-Arlington; however, this year is a different story as there is no team in the Southland with more returning players than the Lumberjacks. SFA is sporting a league-high 22 returners, including all three of its top weekend starters from a year ago. No other team in the Southland can boast to such, as each of the other 11 teams in the league lost at least one piece of their top three starters from last year.

    ROAD WARRIORS: Most teams find comfort in playing in familiar surroundings, but it seemed that last year’s SFA Lumberjacks have found much more comfort on charter buses and in hotels. SFA was just 13-12 in 2010 at Jaycees Field, which was nothing compared to its 19-6 mark in true road games and 21-8 overall record away from home. That was easily the best in the Southland Conference away from its home field as only Southeastern La. (14-9 away, 1-2 neutral) boasted a true road game record above the .500 mark.

    RECORD-SETTING RILEY: It may not not have shown up on all of the record sheets, but catcher Riley Huble tied a single-season record at SFA for batting average in 2010. Huble had only 102 at-bats on the year, which is far from a small sample, but did not qualify for the league’s batting crown due to NCAA and Conference mandates stating that a player must have an average of 2.5 plate appearances to qualify; however, the SFA record books start at 100 at-bats for a season and Huble finished with a .412 at the end of the season. Had he been eligible for the conference’s batting crown, his .412 mark would have won the title by nearly 30 points.

    FRESHMAN CONTRIBUTIONS: SFA has gotten early contributions from a number of freshmen early on  in the year, both in the field and on the mound. Freshmen pitchers Kevin Bishop, Reid Landers and Fabian Arcizo have already combined to make five appearances, allowing just two runs between them in six innings of relief. At the plate redshirt freshman Max Lamantia has alread pushed his way into the middle of the lineup with three hits, while SS Hunter Dozier went 2-for-3 on Tuesday at Houston.

    PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE ‘JACKS:  The Lumberjacks were recognized by the league before the start of the season when the all-conference teams were announced as SFA had three players land on the team. Last year’s league ERA leader Tyler Herriage was a first-team selection, while center fielder Garrett Smith and first baseman Darren Crabtree were automatic selections to the second team. Smith finished seventh in the SLC last year with a .368 batting average, while Crabtree led the ‘Jacks with 10 homers and was second with 49 RBI.

    KEEPING ‘EM IN THE PARK: Junior pitcher Brad Oates’ homer he allowed to Houston’s Joel Ansley to lead off the third put to an end an impressive streak of 46.2 innings without surrendering a dinger. That homer was the first bomb he had given up in his SFA career, having gone a full 42.0 innings of his sophomore season without giving up a homer.

    NINE-HOLE KNOCKOUTS: A big part of SFA’s early success this season has been the balance throughout Johnny Cardenas’ lineup in all spots 1-9. But no slot’s improvement has been more glaring as SFA’s No. 9 hitters through seven games. Essentially a second leadoff hitter, nine-hole hitters for the ‘Jacks hit just .173 last season, just 25 runs scored and 33 hits in 55 games. This season has been a different story as Michael Haynes & Co. have been sparkplugs at the bottom of the lineup, hitting a combined .325 with 63 hits and 39 runs scored through 52 games.

    MOVING UP IN THE WORLD: One of the most pleasant surprises of 2010 was Jason West, who almost out of nowhere has established himself as one of the best closers the Southland has to offer. The twin brother of senior pitcher Jared West, Jason finished second in the SLC in saves with nine. His four wins was the top mark of all SFA relievers, as was his 3.69 ERA and .231 opponent’s average in 39.0 innings; however, this year he will be asked to put up similar numbers as a starter as he is scheduled to take over the Saturday weekend role.

    MIDWEEK MASTERY: As part of SFA’s 34-20 record a year ago it is hard to overlook the way SFA went about handling its midweek games this season. SFA played 11 midweek games last year, going 9-2 in those contests. It started with a 7-6 win at Texas A&M and has only losses to Houston and at Dallas Baptist as blemishes on the schedule.