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December 30, 2006
A season ago, a 6-12 stretch run ended Louisiana Tech's postseason dreams. Five position starters and several top pitchers return from last season's 33-25 squad and Wayne Simoneaux is thinking this time they will finish the deal. The Bulldogs appear to be one of the teams to beat in the Western Athletic Conference and enter 2007 as a solid Regional contender.
Jericho Jones (.357/16/56) returns as a star outfielder who will also pitch some. He was the WAC Freshman of the Year in 2006. Also back is three year outfield starters Adam Cobb (.312/2/22) and Brian Rike (.322/8/34) along with the versatile Brandon Hudson (.347/5/33) and first baseman Albie Goulder (.284/6/40). Western Kentucky transfer Dennis Winn will compete for the shortstop spot while former Southern Miss player Patrick Maxwell may get the nod at second. Chris Kersten (.288/2/8) is back at third base where he is competing with junior college transfer Drew Bunting and Grambling transfer Courtney Jones.
Sophomore 6'9" righty Luke Burnett (4-6/4.23) leads the rotation. He is backed by 2005 ace Ryan Rupert. Rupert missed last season with injury. Dylan Moseley (3-1/4.92) is the probable third starter with two-way player Jericho Jones (5-4/6.43) and freshmen Clint Helms, Casey Jones, LHP Jamey Bradshaw also in the mix. Andrew Alsop (5-1/3.05/4 svs will be the closer.
The Bulldogs will elarn a lot about heir team opening weekend as they host Arkansas. They also have weekend series with Texas-Arlington, McNeese State, Louisiana-Monroe, and Sam Houston State. Other non-conference games include matchups with Louisiana-Lafayette, Lamar, Northwestern State, and Dallas Baptist. In the WAC, The Bulldogs host Sacramento State, Fresno State, New Mexico State, and San Jose State. They visit Sacramento State, Hawaii, Nevada, and Fresno State. The WAC Tournament is in Reno, Nevada.
Louisiana Tech has an experienced team with some impact transfers. If the pitching comes around, this team should experience Regional play.
Strengths: Solid core of hitters returning; Solid weekend starters
Weaknesses: Pitching depth; cross-country travel
The Southeastern 64 is made up of teams from the following conferences: ACC, SEC, Conference USA, Sun Belt, Atlantic Sun, Colonial, Big South, Southern, Southland, Ohio Valley, MEAC, and SWAC. The following schools were also included due to their geographic location: South Florida, Louisville, Louisiana Tech, and Charlotte.