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Diamond ‘Dogs to hold interactive Fan Day Saturday

February 5, 2017

 

Brent Diaz was named to the Conference USA All-Academic team and Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2016. – Photo by LA Tech Communications

LA TECH Athletics Communication

 

The Louisiana Tech baseball team is set to host a fan day prior to the start of the 2017 season with all Bulldog fans invited to spend some time on the diamond this weekend at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.

 

Fan Day kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday when the Diamond ‘Dogs will take the field for an intersquad scrimmage, which will conclude at 2 p.m. Following the scrimmage, head coach Lane Burroughs and the rest of the Bulldogs will conduct a free baseball clinic for ages 13 and under. A bounce house will also be provided for those in attendance.

 

Following Fan Day, fans are encouraged to head over to the Thomas Assembly Center to watch the Dunkin’ Dogs  take on Marshall at 6 p.m and the Tech baseball team being recognized at halftime of that game.

 

The Diamond ‘Dogs held their first full-time practice of the season last week and have continued this week, much to Burroughs’ delight.

 

“I thought it was a different feel, because we are all out here together and there was not a restriction on us, so to speak,” Burroughs said. “We can do things as a team. One thing I liked about the attitude, is that since we have been out here, we were not sky-high. We were even keel, but the energy was good all weekend. We practiced Friday and I thought we looked really good.”

 

The Bulldogs followed up their first full team practice with a nine-inning scrimmage on Saturday and seven more innings on Sunday.

 

“We decided to just scrimmage twice (last) weekend,” Burroughs said. “Quite honestly, Saturday started off really slow. I thought everyone was sped up a little bit, including myself. We were putting in signals and doing things we had not done. I thought guys just kind of did not know what to do or where to look. I thought it progressively got better.”

 

After Saturday’s scrimmage, the Bulldogs started their Sunday morning at First Baptist Church of Ruston. The Bulldogs joined parishioners for a morning service and following a lunch provided by First Baptist, headed back to J.C. Love Field for their second scrimmage of the weekend.

 

“(Sunday) was outstanding,” Burroughs said. “The score does not indicate it, but I thought today was a lot smoother. We kind of slowed the game down a little bit. We played essentially 16 innings, nine (Saturday) and seven (Sunday). I thought we defended the field well, we only made three errors in total (combining both teams over 16 innings). I thought Brent Diaz had a great weekend swinging the bat. Gladu and Lunceford also swung the bat well. (Saturday) on the mound, I thought Casey Sutton was good. Matt Miller was outstanding at the end of the game Saturday night. He came in and was peppering his spots with only small misses and he was up in the low 90s. He was spinning the baseball and he looked like a closer. I thought our catchers, both Brent (Diaz) and Colby (Hamilton), caught the ball well, with it being the first weekend. Our hitters really swung the bat well this weekend.”

 

Tech will look to replace three arms lost to the MLB Draft in Phillip Diehl, Adam Atkins and Braden Bristo, as well as Tyler Clancy who graduated.

 

“I am excited about some of these pitchers too,” Burroughs remarked. “There are some guys with a chance to help us. Nate Harris was good yesterday. Cameron Linck, it was good to see him back out there. I thought his first inning (Sunday) was good. I am going to be honest, you can put about 12 or 13 guys in our lineup and it is going to be hard for anyone to navigate through that thing four times. I feel good about that and don’t have a problem saying that.”

 

Several other Bulldogs caught the eye of their head coach defensively, both in the infield and the outfield.

 

“Dalton Skelton was outstanding defensively, all weekend,” Burroughs said. “Mason Robinson is another guy who ran the bases well. He also ran down some balls in the outfield (Sunday). I also thought J’Mar Smith played well. He had not been out here and doing a lot, but he defended the field well and took some good swings. The more pitches he sees and live at bats he has, the better off he’ll be.”

 

Louisiana Tech opens the 2017 season at 6 p.m. Feb. 17 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at J.C. Love Field.

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