Jags baseball hosts Arkansas St. in weekend series at Stanky Field
Probable Starting Pitchers
Fri., April 27
USA - RHP Tyler Carr (7-2, 3.12 ERA)
ASU - RHP Bradey Welsh (2-4, 4.33 ERA)
Sat., April 28
USA - RHP Noah Michael (1-2, 6.05 ERA)
ASU - RHP Nate Alberius (4-2, 3.79 ERA)
Sun., April 29
USA - TBA
ASU - TBA
South Alabama holds a 69-27 all-time lead over Arkansas State in a series that began in 1993. The Jags carry a three-game win streak in the series into Friday's contest after defeating the Red Wolves in last year's Sun Belt Conference Tournament and winning the final two games of the regular-season series in Jonesboro. USA has won nine of the last 10 games, dating back to 2015, and has won the last three series. ASU's last series win came in 2014 when it won the final two games of the series in Mobile, including a 14-inning win in game two.
The Jaguars defeated the Red Wolves 4-2 in last year's Sun Belt Conference Tournament semifinal, and took two of three games from ASU in Jonesboro during the regular season. During the three-game regular-season series, the Jaguars outscored the Red Wolves 37-19 and batted .327 as a team with four doubles, two triples, seven home runs, 32 RBIs and three stolen bases. Wells Davis led the Jags at the plate, hitting .538 with two doubles, one home run, seven RBIs and two runs scored while posting a .563 on-base percentage and .923 slugging percentage. Brendan Donovan hit .462 in the three-game series with two home runs, five RBIs, six runs scored, .500 OBP and .923 slugging percentage. The Jaguar pitching staff posted a 4.50 ERA in three games, allowing 13 earned runs on 23 hits in 26 innings pitched with 20 strikeouts against 10 walks. In the SBC Tournament semifinal, right-hander Tyler Carr allowed one run on five hits with five strikeouts against four walks in six innings pitched to earn the win.
• After winning a season-best seven consecutive games after the first two games of the Texas State series, the Jaguars have dropped two straight contests after falling to the Bobcats in the series finale last Sunday and dropping a 5-3 decision at No. 15 Southern Miss on Tuesday.
• USA went 3-1 in four road games last week with a midweek win at New Orleans, and a pair of SBC victories at Texas State. The Jags batted .284 with seven doubles, five home runs, 35 RBIs and 38 runs scored in four games, led by catcher Carter Perkins who hit .625 with three doubles, three home runs, eight RBIs, seven runs scored, .684 on-base percentage and 1.375 slugging percentage. Brendan Donovan batted .375 in four games with two doubles, three RBIs, six runs scored and .500 OBP. Right-handed reliever Zach Greene went 1-0 with one save in two appearances, and recorded 10 strikeouts without issuing a walk while allowing just one hit in 4 2/3 innings pitched.
• The Jaguars have played eight nationally-ranked opponents this season. USA is 3-10 against top-25 competition, with wins over No. 18 Oklahoma, No. 18 Coastal Carolina and No. 13 Southern Miss, and losses to No. 3 Texas Tech, No. 15 Southern Miss, No. 16 LSU, No. 18 Auburn and No. 23 Indiana.
• South Alabama ranks eighth nationally in walks (233), which ranks second in the Sun Belt Conference behind Coastal Carolina (242).
JAGS SWEEP SBC WEEKLY AWARDS
South Alabama right-hander Tyler Carr was named the SBC Pitcher of the Week and Carter Perkins was named the SBC Player of the Week on Tuesday, following their respective performances last week. Carr tossed his first career complete game, and carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning of the series opener at Texas State which was broken up on a 1-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth. He retired 22 of the first 24 Bobcat batters he faced in the game. Perkins batted .625 (10-for-16) with three doubles, three home runs, eight RBIs, seven runs scored, a .684 OBP and 1.375 slugging percentage in four games. He recorded multiple hits in three of four contests, and drove in at least one run in three of four games. Perkins finished with a career-high four hits, including a double and a pair of home runs, and tied his career high in RBIs (4) in an April 18 win at New Orleans. He went 2-for-4 with a double, one RBI and two runs scored in the series opener at Texas State, and followed that performance by going 4-for-4 with a double, one home run, three RBIs and two runs scored in game two of the series. It marked the first time either Carr or Perkins has earned weekly SBC honors.
USA enters the game with 98 two-out RBIs, which accounts for 40 percent of its 245 RBIs this season. Wells Davis, Brendan Donovan and Hunter Stokes share the team lead with 13 two-out RBIs apiece.
DAVIS APPROACHING 100 HITS, RBIS
First baseman Wells Davis enters the weekend with 97 career hits and RBIs. Davis has recorded 11 hits and 10 RBIs in his last seven games, dating back to game two of the Georgia Southern series on April 15.
SWAGGERTY HITTING STREAK SNAPPED, extends on-base streak
Center fielder Travis Swaggerty went 0-for-3 in Tuesday's loss at No. 18 Southern Miss, which snapped his season-long hitting streak at 13 games; however, Swaggerty reached base on a walk that extended his on-base streak to 21 games.
PERKINS ON HOT STREAK
Jaguar catcher Carter Perkins is batting .550 with three doubles, four home runs, 10 RBIs, eight runs scored, a .609 OBP and 1.300 slugging percentage in his last five games played, dating back to the April 18 win at New Orleans. Perkins has hit safely in four of five contests and driven in runs in four of five games during that span, including a career-high four hits at UNO while also tying his career high in RBIs (4) in that game. Perkins has hit four home runs in his last five contests entering the series opener. He ranks seventh in the SBC in batting average (.330), sixth in slugging percentage (.560) and tied for ninth in home runs (6).
JAGS IN APRIL
South Alabama is batting .295 with 17 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs, 95 RBIs, 105 runs scored and two stolen bases in 12 games played thus far in the month of April. Carter Perkins leads the team with a .442 batting average this month, along with three doubles, four home runs, 14 RBIs and 12 runs scored while posting a .529 OBP. Brendan Donovan is hitting .362 with five doubles, two home runs, 13 RBIs, 17 runs scored and a .466 OBP in 12 contests.
CARR IN SBC GAMES
Right-hander Tyler Carr is 6-0 with a 2.76 ERA in six Sun Belt Conference starts this season. He has tossed one complete game and combined for one shutout while striking out 31 batters against 10 walks in 42 1/3 innings pitched and limiting the opposition to a .227 batting average. Carr has earned the win in his last six starts dating back to the ULM game on March 17.
HOMERS AS OF LATE
South Alabama has homered in five of its last six games, dating back to the April 15 series finale with Georgia Southern. The Jags homered three times in last weekend's SBC series at Texas State, with Dylan Hardy, Carter Perkins and Travis Swaggerty each recording one home run. Perkins and Michael Sandle each homered in Tuesday's loss at No. 15 Southern Miss.
HARDY AMONG SBC LEADERS IN HITS, STOLEN BASES
Left fielder Dylan Hardy enters the weekend ranked tied for third in the SBC in stolen bases (15), fourth in hits (53) and runs scored (41) and eighth in batting average (.329). Hardy has not stolen a base in 12 consecutive games, with his last steal coming in the March 31 series finale with Appalachian State.
SWAGGERTY IN TOP FIVE nationally iN TWO OFFENSIVE CATEGORIES
Center fielder Travis Swaggerty enters the series ranked third nationally in walks per game (1.05), and fourth in walks (41). He currently ranks fourth in career walks (132) at South Alabama after passing former Jaguar Tyrone Dixon (130) in last week's win at New Orleans.
SWAGGERTY LEADS SBC
Swaggerty enters the week as the SBC leader in on-base percentage (.476), tied for the league lead in walks (41), and fourth in home runs (10) and slugging percentage (.567).
DONOVAN AMONG SBC LEADERS IN SACRIFICE FLIES
Third baseman Brendan Donovan enters the weekend tied for second in the Sun Belt Conference in sacrifice flies (5).
DAVIS AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS IN RBIs, WALKS
First baseman Wells Davis ranks tied for third in the Sun Belt Conference in RBIs (40) and walks (33), and tied for nintth in home runs (6).
JAGS AT NIGHT/DAY
South Alabama enters the week 15-8 in day games, and 9-7 in night games this season following Tuesday's loss at No. 15 Southern Miss.
OFFENSIVE RUNS / HITS PER GAME
South Alabama is averaging six runs scored and eight hits per game through 39 contests, but is also averaging over eight strikeouts per game against five walks per contest. The Jags have struck out 10 or more times in 16 games this season. The 11 strikeouts in game two of last weekend's Texas State series marked the first double-digit strikeout total for USA since striking out 11 times in the series opener at Coastal Carolina on April 6.
ALLOWING FIVE OR LESS
South Alabama is 18-4 this season when allowing five or fewer runs, but is 6-11 when allowing six or more. Southern Miss scored five runs in Tuesday's win over USA.
SCORING SIX OR MORE
The Jags are 21-4 when scoring six or more runs this year, but are 3-11 when scoring fewer than six runs. USA has scored 10 or more runs in four of its last six games entering Friday's series opener, but has scored three runs or less in its last two contests.
USA is 20-5 this season when scoring the game's first run, but is 4-10 when the opposition scores first.
South Alabama is outscoring the opposition 54-12 in the first inning this season; however, it has allowed 45 runs in the second inning of games this year. USA scored seven runs in the top of the first inning in last Wednesday's win at New Orleans.
MORE HITS, MORE WINS
The Jaguars are 18-2 when out-hitting the opposition this season, but are 6-10 when getting out-hit by opponents. USA is 0-3 when its hit total is tied with the opposition.