MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - University of South Alabama baseball will look to snap a three-game losing skid this weekend when it travels to Nacogdoches, Texas, for a three-game series with Stephen F. Austin.
The series will open Friday at 3 p.m. at Nacogdoches Jaycees Field, followed by game two Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday's series finale at 1 p.m.
Live stats will be available for all three games at www.usajaugars.com. Updates will also be provided via Twitter @USAJaguarSports.
South Alabama (2-6) enters the weekend 0-1 on the road after falling 4-3 to Alabama Tuesday in Tuscaloosa.
"We have a couple of guys swinging the bat well," USA head coach Mark Calvi said. "And we have a few guys in there filling in for some guys who are injured, and they have stepped in and done a nice job. Hunt Griffith, Kevin Knapp and Taylor Nichols have all done a good job stepping up. We were really solid out of the bullpen last week. When we got a solid start and a decent outing from the bullpen, we won. It's just a matter of putting it together. It's all about how well we do on the mound. We have to continue to pitch well, and when we start swinging the bat our offense will jell. It's about playing as a team, and we have some guys who are struggling a little bit right now but I think they will get it."
The Jaguars will turn to right-hander Jarron Cito (1-0) in Friday's series opener. In two starts this season, Cito has posted a 3.48 ERA with a team-leading 12 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings pitched. He earned his first career win as a Jaguar last Friday in a 9-4 win over Samford at Stanky Field.
USA left-hander Jordan Patterson (0-0) will make his first collegiate start on the mound in Saturday's contest. In three appearances this season, Patterson has posted a 1.93 ERA, allowing just one run on one hit with six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .071 against him.
Drew Cofield leads South Alabama with a .381 batting average, while Nolan Earley leads the team in hits (10), doubles (4), total bases (14) and slugging percentage (.467). Nick Zaharion holds the team lead in RBI with eight.
USA enters the weekend with a 4.17 team ERA, and has limited the opposition to a .237 batting average. Jaguar pitchers have recorded 66 strikeouts against 29 walks in 69 innings pitched.
South Alabama and SFA each enter the series with a .238 team batting average. The Lumberjacks have a nearly identical team ERA as USA at 4.15 entering the weekend.
SFA (2-7) snapped a four-game losing streak Tuesday when it defeated Louisiana-Monroe 4-3 in Nacogdoches. The Lumberjacks are 2-0 at home this season. They are led offensively by Hunter Dozier, who leads the team in batting average (.382), hits (13), doubles (3), home runs (3), RBI (7), total bases (25) and slugging percentage (.735).
Right-hander Chase Greening (0-1) is scheduled to make his third start of the season Friday for SFA. Greening carries a 5.62 ERA into the contest, and has allowed nine runs on 19 hits in eight innings pitched this year. He has recorded three strikeouts and issued two walks, while opponents are batting .452 against him.
SFA right-hander Colton Eubanks (0-1) is scheduled to start Saturday's game. He has posted a 3.86 ERA in 11 2/3 innings this season, and has eight strikeouts with three walks. Opponents are hitting .250 against him in two games.
Zack Taylor (0-1) will make his second start of the season for SFA on Sunday. The right-hander carries a 9.53 ERA in 5 2/3 innings into Sunday's contest. He has recorded nine strikeouts against four walks, and limited the opposition to a .158 batting average.
"We almost have identical stats," Calvi said. "Both (pitching) staffs seem to be holding their own, and are playing decent defense. I think both teams are better than the record indicates. They (Stephen F. Austin) have a couple of solid guys on the mound, and a bunch of hitters out of junior college. We just need to play our game and worry about ourselves."
The series marks the first-ever meeting between the schools. SFA is the first of three Southland Conference opponents the Jags will face this season.
For more information about South Alabama athletics, check back with www.usajaguars.com. Season tickets for all Jaguar athletic events can be purchaseed by calling (251) 461-1USA (1872).
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