`Jacks Head To SHSU For Weekend Series

SFA will play a three-game series at Sam Houston State beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m.

May 1, 2014

Stephen F. Austin (17-27, 8-13 SLC) at Sam Houston State (31-14, 13-8 SLC)
Friday, May 2 (6:30 p.m.) • Live Stats | Stream
Saturday, May 3 (4:00 p.m.) • Live Stats 
Sunday, May 4 (1:00 p.m.) • Live Stats | Stream
Don Sanders Stadium - Huntsville, Texas

Opening Pitch
• The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack baseball team will play their second to last Southland Conference road series, heading to Sam Houston State this weekend. The three-games series at Don Sanders Stadium will begin in a 6:30 p.m. first pitch on Friday, followed by tilts at 4:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

• The `Jacks enter the weekend at 17-27 overall and 8-13 in Southland Conference play. Last week, SFA dropped three-of-four, falling 7-6 to Dallas Baptist on April 22 in 10 innings after holding a 6-0 lead through three innings. The `Jacks then got a complete-game effort from junior Dillon Mangham in 10-2 series-opening victory over Lamar, before falling 7-3 and 5-4 over the final two games. SFA fell to No. 13 TCU most recently, falling 14-4 on April 29. SHSU enters the weekend 31-14 overall and 13-8 in SLC action.

• The `Jacks will start Mangham on Friday and senior Kevin Bishop on Saturday, with a pitcher to be determined on Sunday. SFA will see junior Tyler Eppler, senior Jason Simms and freshman Sam Odom on the mound for the Beakats across the series. 

Players of Note
• Heading into the weekend, senior Mackenzie Handel has continued to enjoy a steady season at the plate, leading both the team and Southland Conference in several offensive categories. Handel currently leads the league in homeruns (10), slugging percentage (.591) and RBI (41), sitting second in walks (33) and total bases (94). The native of Chandler, Ariz., ranks fifth in the SLC in on-base percentage (.453), also leading the `Jacks in batting average (.340), runs (28) and hits (54). Handel's homer mark is tie for 11th in the nation, while his slugging percentage is 47th.

• Senior Zach Marberry currently leads the league with 15 doubles, boasting a .282/.456/.371 split. Marberry's doubles mark ranks 41st in the nation. SFA ranks second in the conference with 74 doubles as a team.

Scouting Sam Houston State
• The Bearkats enter the week 31-14 overall and 13-8 in SLC play, having won 12 of their last 15 games and five straight, all coming from behind, most recently sweeping Southeastern Louisiana in league action. SHSU is coming off a 4-2 win at Baylor in the midweek. The Bearkats, currently third in the conference standings, are led by their pitching arsenal. The SHSU arms rank second in the SLC in with a 2.94 ERA, a mark that sits 36th nationally. The team's pitching also ranks 44th in hits allowed per nine innings (7.98). Odom, the Sunday starter this weekend for the Bearkats, leads the league with eight wins, also sitting fifth with a 2.17 ERA. Closer Ryan Brinley sits second in the SLC with six saves. At the plate, junior Colt Atwood leads the conference with 67 hits, while senior Anthony Azar ranks among the top in several offensive categories. Azar leads the league in total bases (95), ranking second in homeruns (9) and slugging percentage (.586), fourth in RBI (37) and sixth in on-base percentage (.444).

The Last Meeting
Sam Houston State14  
March 30, 2013
Nacogdoches, Texas
Big Inning Dooms SFA In Series Finale
Sam Houston State scored eight unearned runs with two outs in the top of the third and scored four more in the top of the seventh to take a 14-4 win in seven innings over Stephen F. Austin in the series finale Saturday at Jaycees Field.

Versus The Opponent
• Friday's game will mark the 60th meeting between the two teams dating back to 1984. The `Jacks, trailing 21-38 all-time, are 7-8 verse SHSU under head coach Johnny Cardenas, with a 4-2 mark at Don Sanders Field. The Bearkats are 7-2 against SFA over the last three seasons, as the `Jacks have taken one game in each of the last two series meetings after being swept in 2011.

The Last Time Out 
• The `Jacks were tagged for three big innings by No. 13 TCU, making their first trip to Nacogdoches, Texas, since the 1992 season, falling 14-4 on Tuesday night at Jaycees Field.

Up Next
• SFA will next return to Jaycess Field to close out its home schedule. The `Jacks will host Nicholls State in a three-game conference series May 9-11. The series finale will serve as Senior Day, with a ceremony before first pitch.



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