'Jacks Meet Islanders for Three-Game Southland Series in Corpus Christi

April 20, 2017

Stephen F. Austin (22-17, 11-4 Southland) at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (13-24, 5-10 Southland)
Chapman Field | Corpus Christi, Texas
Game One | Friday, April 21 | 6:00 p.m. | Live Stats | Watch
Game Two | Saturday, April 22 | 4:00 p.m. | Live Stats | Watch
Game Three | Sunday, April 23 | 1:00 p.m. | Live Stats | Watch 

The Last Meeting
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi6
April 3, 2016
Jaycees Field
Walk-Off Walk Propels SFA to 7-6 Win over A&M-Corpus Christi and First SLC Series Win of 2016
Following a game in which he put his awesome power at the plate on display by crushing a pair of home runs, Stephen F. Austin junior first baseman Slayton Vaughan elected to keep his bat still in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded.

Game One | LHP Patrick Ledet (5-2, 4.01 ERA) vs. RHP Dustin Lacaze (2-0, 4.91 ERA)
Game Two | RHP Trevor Kiminski (3-2, 4.44 ERA) vs. RHP Cole Carter (3-5, 6.99 ERA)
Game Three | RHP Tony Grabowske (3-2, 3.32 ERA) vs. TBA 

Each of the last four times the Stephen F. Austin baseball team has traveled to Corpus Christi, Texas, it has won at least two of the three games against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the ‘Jacks are hoping that trend continues this weekend in a three-game Southland Conference set with the Islanders at Chapman Field.

ALL IN, ALL DAY, LEDET | In possession of a perfect 4-0 record in Southland Conference contests, senior left-hander Patrick Ledet will get the start in the Friday night showdown between the ‘Jacks and Islanders. Previously SFA’s Saturday starter, Ledet swapped places in the rotation with junior righty Trevor Kiminski after putting an end to the longest in-conference winning streak in Southland Conference history with a 6.1-inning day of work in a 5-1 SFA win over Sam Houston State last Saturday afternoon in Nacogdoches. A relief arm for the ‘Jacks during his days as an underclassman, Ledet ranks third in SFA’s record book in career wins (15), fifth in career strikeouts (147), and sixth in innings pitched (192).

HITTIN’ HRINEVICH | Reigning Southland Conference Hitter of the Week Alex Hrinevich collected one of the ‘Jacks’ two hits in their 2-1 setback at Baylor Tuesday night and heads into the series with the Islanders leading the team in a number of categories in Southland Conference games. The senior out of Katy, Texas, owns an impressive slash line of .442/.540/.692 in league tilts and leads SFA in hits (23), walks (11), runs scored (23) and home runs (four) in Southland Conference games.

HIT LIST | One of the more intriguing storylines for the ‘Jacks in 2017 is that two players - seniors Conner Fikes and Nick Ramos - are both racing toward the top of SFA’s career hits chart. Fikes needs 18 more hits to surpass former SFA great Hunter Dozier as the program’s all-time leader in hits. Ramos, meanwhile, can do it with 22 more base knocks. Fikes and Ramos are two of the five players in the history of the ‘Jacks’ program who have totaled 200 or more hits in their careers.

STEP UP | By the end of the week, barring any unfortunate setbacks, SFA will have a new leader in career at-bats: Nick Ramos. One of three four-year seniors on the ‘Jacks’ roster, Ramos is one of two players in the history of the program who have racked up 700 or more career at-bats. With six more of them, he will have 742 in his career and will have passed Zach Gardner for the most in program history.

RUN, RAMOS, RUN | Senior infielder Nick Ramos is on the cusp of etching his name atop another statistical category in the ‘Jacks’ all-time record books. The four-year senior out of Plano, Texas, will take over as the program’s all-time leader in runs scored by crossing home plate just four more times. He has 128 runs to his credit during his days in an SFA uniform.

TAKING THE K OUT OF FIKES | While the letter K does appear in Conner Fikes’ last name, rarely has it been included in any of the senior’s at-bats. The Rowlett, Texas, product ranks 21st nationally and is second in the Southland Conference in the toughest batter to strike out category. Fikes goes down on strikes just once every 15.2 at-bats.

FOLLOW THE LEADER | Junior Josh Evans punched an RBI double down the right-field line in the ‘Jacks’ 2-1 setback at Baylor Tuesday night, pushing his batting average to .395. The product of Ponca City, Okla., continues to lead the Southland Conference in batting average and is second in the 13-team league in terms of slugging percentage with a mark of .691. Evans has blasted a team-leading seven home runs and 10 of his 32 hits are of the extra-base variety.

WHAT A RELIEF | Taking over for starter Erik Nouis in the fifth inning at Baylor Tuesday night, sophomore lefty Seth Campbell put forth the finest appearance of his collegiate career thus far. The Channelview, Texas, product fired 2.2 innings of no-hit baseball and struck out a career-best six batters to keep SFA in the game. He and hard-throwing righty Will Vest lead the Southland Conference in pitching appearances having both tossed a pitch in 21 games this season. 

RACE TO THE TOP | The ‘Jacks currently sit in third place in the Southland Conference standings, two games behind Sam Houston State for second place and 3.5 games back of McNeese for the league lead. McNeese has played three more league tilts than both SFA and Sam Houston State.

DOUBLE TROUBLE | With an infield consisting of three seniors a freshman and a sophomore, the ‘Jacks have turned a total of 36 double plays. That total is the most in the Southland Conference and the 26th most among all NCAA Division I baseball teams.

A-O”K” | The ‘Jacks’ successes this season have hinged both on the strength of their pitching staff as well as their aversion to striking out at the dish. SFA’s staff leads the Southland Conference with a strikeouts per nine innings pitched figure of 8.4 that ranks 70th in the nation. At the plate, SFA leads the Southland in both plate appearances (1,542) and at-bats (1,304) and has only 202 strikeouts to show for its efforts. That strikeout total is the second-fewest among all league teams.  

MASHIN' MICHENER | Senior outfielder Zac Michener is one of the primary producers of offense for the 'Jacks this season. The Kennedale, Texas, product leads SFA in hits (48), RBI (36) and runs scored (34). Those 36 RBI are the second-most among all Southland Conference players and with seven sacrifice flies to his credit Michener leads the league and ranks third in the nation in that category. 

RECORD vs. A&M-CC | 21-16 (.568)
STREAK | SFA won one
IN NACOGDOCHES | 7-7 (.500)
STREAK | SFA won one
IN CORPUS CHRISTI | 13-7 (.650)
STREAK | SFA won one
LAST GAME | at SFA 7, A&M-CC 6 (4/3/16)
SFA RUNS | PER GAME | 47 | 2.2
A&M-CC RUNS | PER GAME | 171 | 8.1
LAST A&M-CC WIN | April 2, 2016 • 11-9
LAST SFA WIN | April 3, 2016 • 7-6
Cardenas vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi | 16-10 (.615) 

If the Islanders want to put the brakes on their five-game losing streak, they are in the right place to do so. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has won each of its last two Southland Conference home series, taking two out of three games from both Northwestern State and Southeastern Louisiana at Chapman Field. Three of the Islanders’ five-straight setbacks have come by two or fewer runs, including a 4-3 Tuesday night non-conference setback to UTRGV in which they left the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the ninth. 

Offensively, the trio of Nick Anderson, Dalton Stark and Cullen Jozwiak have been the primary run producers for the Islanders so far in 2017. Stark leads the squad in at-bats (145), hits (44), doubles (10), extra-base hits (12) and his 20 RBI are second only to the 24 Anderson has racked up. Both Anderson and Jozwiak have 37 hits to their credit and are hitting at clips of .278 and .280 respectively. Brett Burner’s team-leading .304 average is just a shade above Stark’s mark of .303 and collectively the Islanders’ slash line is .273/.338/.366.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s staff ERA of 5.92 is 10th out of 13 Southland Conference teams and the Islanders’ opponents are hitting at a clip of .290. Chris Cooper and Saturday afternoon starter Cole Carter each have a team-high three wins on the hill in 2017. Cooper has taken his role on the mound one step further by doubling as a late-inning relief arm in the games where he doesn’t start and has totaled three of the Islanders’ seven saves while racking up a team-best 41 strikeouts.

COMING UP NEXT | The ‘Jacks’ final regular season midweek contest sends them to the alma mater of head coach Johnny Cardenas - TCU - to battle the nationally-ranked Horned Frogs. First pitch between the non-conference opponents has been slated for 6:35 p.m. and the game will be televised on FOX Sports Southwest Plus.



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