`Jacks To Close Season At HBU
May 14, 2014
Stephen F. Austin (18-34, 9-18 SLC) at Houston Baptist (22-26, 11-16 SLC)
The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack baseball team will close out their five-game road swing and season, with a three-game Southland Conference series at Houston Baptist beginning Thursday. SFA will play the Huskies at Husky Field in a 2:00 p.m. first pitch in the series opener, followed by tilts at 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The `Jacks enter the series at 18-34 overall and 9-18 in Southland Conference play. Last week, SFA went 1-2 with Nicholls State to close out its home schedule. The `Jacks most recently made a visit to Nebraska in the midweek, falling 10-8 to Creighton and 10-4 to Nebraska-Omaha on Tuesday. SFA will look to close the season on a high note, having won just three of its last 22 games.
SFA will start junior Dillon Mangham (6-5) on Thursday and senior Kevin Bishop (1-7) on Friday, with a pitcher to be determined on Saturday. The `Jacks will see junior Taylor Wright (2-9), senior Ryan Lower (6-3) and junior Curtis Jones (4-4) on the mound for HBU across the series.Players of Note
Heading into the weekend, senior Mackenzie Handel will try and close the season strong at the plate, leading both the team and conference in several offensive categories. Having started in every game, Handel is currently tied for the league lead in homeruns (10) and tied for second in RBI (42). The native of Chandler, Ariz., ranks third in the conference in walks (34), fourth slugging percentage (.516) and sixth in total bases (98). Handel also leads the team in batting average (.305), sitting second in hits (58), runs (29) and doubles (10). Handel's homer mark is tied for 26th in the nation.
Senior Zach Marberry is tied for the SLC lead with 16 doubles, owning a .267/.420/.359 split.
Last Sunday's game against NICH served as Senior Day for nine `Jacks - Kevin Bishop, Kyle Cross, Rick Cruz, Mackenzie Handel, Justin Hunsaker, Gevon Jackson, Zach Marberry, Ricardo Sanchez and Brett Thornell. Junior Fabian Arcizo, who missed the 2013 season due to injury, also participated in the ceremony. Scouting Houston Baptist
The Huskies enter the week 22-26 overall and 11-16 in SLC play, having dropped their last four games, most recently being swept at home by Sam Houston State. HBU, currently one spot ahead of SFA in 10th place in conference standings, lead the league and rank 30th in the nation with a .295 team batting average. The Huskies have four starters hitting over .300 on the season, led by junior Curtis Jones (.363), this weekend's Saturday starter. The two-way player, leads the SLC in hits (77), ranking fourth in batting average and 10th in innings pitched (86.0). Jones is also the team leader in hits (77), runs (32) and at bats (212), while holding a 3.35 ERA and tossing two complete games in 12 starts.
Versus The Opponent
The Last Time Out