ARKANSAS STATE RED WOLVES
at Troy Trojans
May 14-16, 2010 6:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m.
Riddle-Pace Field (2,000) Troy, Alabama
Radio: KBTM 1230 AM & AStateRedWolves.com
LiveStats Available at AStateRedWolves.com
LEADING OFF: The Arkansas State Red Wolves play their final road games of the regular season May 14-16 when the travel to Troy, Ala. to take on the Trojans in a three-game Sun Belt Conference weekend series. The Friday and Saturday contests are scheduled for 6:00 p.m., with the Sunday wrapup set to begin a 1:00 p.m. All ASU games may be heard on KBTM 1230 AM and through the StateZone portion of AStateRedWolves.com. LiveStats may also be accessed by logging on to AStateRedWolves.com.
THE TEAMS: Arkansas State travels to Troy at 26-22 on the year and 14-10 in Sun Belt Conference action. The Red Wolves are tied with Middle Tennessee for fourth place in the SBC standings and have clinched a berth in the May 26-29 Sun Belt Conference Tournament for the first time since the 2006 season. In their most recent conference action, the Red Wolves picked up a 2-1 series victory over FIU last weekend when they closed out the series with a 5-4 win over the Golden Panthers. Arkansas State took the Friday night game 8-7, before FIU evened the series with a 15-2 win in the Saturday affair. In its final midweek game of the season, A-State was defeated 5-2 by No. 14 Ole Miss Wednesday night in Jonesboro. Troy will take the field at 27-21, with a 12-12 mark in SBC action. The Trojans are currently in eighth place in the league standings and are battling for the final spot in the SBC Tournament bracket. Troy has won three straight and nine of its last 11 games heading into the weekend. Trojans posted a 2-1 series victory at ULM last weekend and defeated Kennesaw State 10-8 May 11 in their only midweek game.
THE TROY SERIES: Troy holds a 12-0 series advantage over the Red Wolves, sweeping Arkansas State every year since the first meeting in 2006. When the teams met last year in Jonesboro, the Trojans defeated ASU 5-2, 7-3 and 12-7.
ON THE MOUND FOR ASU: Junior right-hander Andy Ferguson will get the Friday night start when the series opens May 14. Ferguson (3-3, 4.26 ERA) has made 12 starts on the year, giving up 45 runs (36 earned) in 76.0 innings of work. He has walked 23 batters, while striking out 61. Sophomore Jacob Lee (5-2) will move from his normal Sunday starting role into the Saturday slot. Lee has logged 75.2 innings of work in 12 appearances this year, giving up 31 runs (29 earned) on 66 hits with a team-high 67 strikeouts and 31 walks. He will take an ERA of 3.45 into the weekend series. Sunday's starter has yet to be determined.
ON DECK: The Red Wolves return to Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field to close out the regular season against UALR May 20-22.
TOURNAMENT TICKET PUNCHED: With their 2-1 series win over FIU, the Red Wolves improved to 14-10 in Sun Belt Conference action and clinched a berth in the SBC Tournament for the first time since the 2006 season.
AMONG THE BEST IN THE BELT: Heading into the weekend, Arkansas State first baseman Murray Watts leads the league with a batting average of .446 in conference games only. Watts is 34 points higher than the next-closest hitter, Troy's Todd McRae. Watts is also third in the league with 37 hits and third with 25 RBIs. In league games only, second baseman Giovanni Garcia is tied for the league lead with 10 doubles and is tied for second with 24 runs scored. Designated hitter Jordan Castaldo is seventh in the Sun Belt with a batting average of .377, while Garcia is 13th with an average of .366. Senior pitcher Ross Humes' ERA of 2.60 is sixth against league competition, while sophomore Jacob Lee is 10th at 3.28. In all games played, Lee is sixth at 3.45, with Humes in eighth place at 3.55. Watts and Castaldo are ninth and 10th, respectively, in batting, with Watts hitting .374 in all games and Castaldo at .373. Castaldo is tied for second with 18 doubles, and center fielder Michael Faulkner is third in the league with 20 stolen bases.