El Dorado News-Times
Louisiana Tech to host BYU in opening series
RUSTON, La. - The Louisiana Tech Baseball team opens up the highly anticipated 2023 season this weekend as they host BYU in a four-game series.
Game 1 is set for a 6 p.m. start on Friday with a doubleheader on Saturday slated for a 2 p.m. start.
After a day off on Sunday, the series resumes with Game 4 on Monday with a 6 p.m. start,
ABOUT LOUISIANA TECH
Louisiana Tech heads into the new season coming off back-to-back NCAA Regional appearances as well as backto-back Conference USA championships (2021 West Division champs and 2022 Tournament champs).
The preseason Conference USA favorites return a healthy dose off last year's 43-win team, including preseason Conference USA Pitcher of the Year Jonathan Fincher.
The lefty from Shreveport has 34 career starts under his belt, having produced a 16-5 record on the mound over the last two seasons.
Fincher was also one of 16 players voted to the preseason All-Conference USA team along with teammates Jorge Corona.
The junior catcher from Miami has started 61 career games behind the plate and finished last season with a team-best 16 home runs while batting .281.
Other key returners include center fielder Cole McConnell who was a first team All-Conference USA selection last season after breaking the Louisiana Tech single-season record for most RBIs with 76.
There is also outfielder/first baseman Philip Matulia and outfielder Adarius Myers who have combined to play 254 career games at Louisiana Tech.
BYU, guided by firstyear head coach Trent Pratt, returns a total of 20 players from a squad that collected a 33-21 overall record while also advancing to the 2022 WCC Tournament.
Three Cougars - outfielder Cole Gambill, pitcher Jack Sterner, and infielder Ozzie Pratt - were selected to the 2023 All-WCC preseason team.
BYU was picked to finish third in the WCC preseason poll behind Gonzaga and San Diego.
Sterner is projected to be one of the four starters for the Cougars in this first series in Ruston.
The right-hander started 13 games last season, registering 61 strikeouts.
This will be the first ever meeting between Louisiana Tech and BYU.
The Bulldogs are 4-3 all-time against teams from the West Coast Conference.
They last played a WCC school in 2018 when they split a four-game series at Pepperdine.