HUNTSVILLE, Texas – The Northwestern State baseball team will look to continue it's hot start in Southland Conference play with a three-game series at Sam Houston State that starts at 6 o'clock on Friday at Don Sanders Stadium.
The second game of the set is at 4:00 on Saturday, and the final game will be at 1 o'clock on Sunday. All three games will be broadcast on the flagship station of the Demon Sports Network, 100.7 KZBL-FM, and streamed free at NSUDemons.com online.
Sam Houston (18-8, 3-3 SLC) spent most of the 2014 season ranked, and climbed as high as No. 16 in the Baseball America poll. It dropped out of most polls after it was swept by Central Arkansas in the Bearkats' last series. Northwestern State has a 12-11 record and a 4-2 mark in conference play. The Demons won both of its league series this season, at Oral Roberts and against Stephen F. Austin.
"Sam Houston won the league last year and went to a regional," said head coach Lane Burroughs. "They have almost their entire team back for this season."
NSU will start right-handed pitcher Adam Oller (2-0, 2.67 earned run average) on Friday night and John Gault (3-2, 6.65) on Saturday. Oller pitched nine innings in his last start in an extra innings win for Northwestern State.
Chase Daughdrill leads the Demons in hitting with a .325 batting average, and he also leads the team with 19 runs batted in and 16 runs scored. Caleb Dugas has a .322 batting average, and Edwin Gomez has a .321 average.
At the start of the week, Daughdrill reached in every game this season, but that streak was snapped at Louisiana-Lafayette after he was pulled from the game after diving for a ball at third base.
The Demons hit at .269 clip as a team and have a 4.70 ERA. Sam Houston State has a .295 batting average an 2.69 ERA.
Right-hander Tyler Eppler (4-2, 3.72) will start for SHSU on Friday night. Dirk Masters (1-1, 1.65) will start Saturday, and Sunday's starter will be Jason Simms (1-1, 1.59).
The Bearkats have five players who are hitting above .300 this season. Colt Atwood leads the team with a .382 average, followed by Ryan O'Hearn (.330), Anthony Azar (.320), Carter Burgess (.311) and Hayden Simerly (.307).
O'Hearn has 25 RBIs this season. Atwood has 24 and Azar has 23.
"They have very good starters on the mound that all have quality arms," said Burroughs. "They have a salty lineup that can be hard to navigate through. They have a lot of players back from a very good club.
"It's going to be a battle and challenge, but we're looking forward to it," he said.
After the series at Sam Houston, the Demons will travel play a game against Grambling at home on Tuesday and then travel to face Louisiana Tech on Wednesday.