Five big series’ highlight the third weekend of Sun Belt Conference baseball play this week.

After two weekends of play, Louisiana is 6-0, with Texas St. and Arkansas St. right behind at 5-1, while South Alabama and Troy are both 3-2.
WKU is 3-3, while Georgia St., UALR, ULM, and UT-Arlington are all 1-5.
Let’s take a look at the respective conference series’ schedule for this weekend, with  statistics entering play earlier in the week:

WKU (13-12, 3-0) at #1 LOUISIANA (24-2, 6-0)

Offensively, Louisiana ranks first in the league in almost every category, including hitting (.303), runs scored (190), home runs (29), and stolen bases (41).

The Cajuns have four of the top 15 hitters in the conference, including Seth Harrison (.347), who ranks sixth, Caleb Adams (.333) who ranks tied for ninth, Tyler Girouard (.327), who ranks 12th, and Jace Conrad (.322), who ranks 14th.

WKU, who is currently hitting a .252, good enough for fifth in the league, is paced by Ryan Messex, who is fourth, overall, hitting a .362.

In terms of pitching, Louisiana ranks first, with a 2.29 team ERA., and is way above UALR, who is currently second, at a 3.38.

The Cajuns feature right-hander Carson Baranik, who ranks first in the league in ERA. (1.38), and Austin Robichaux, who ranks third (1.76).

WKU has an overall team ERA. of 4.78, which ranks eighth.

Louisiana, who has won 24 of their last 25, is riding a 14-game win streak, and the fact that they rank first in the league in pitching, hitting, and fielding is a big part of the reason why.

Game times are scheduled for 6 pm, 2 pm, and 1 pm (cdt),  Friday-Sunday.


UALR (11-10, 1-5) at ULM (8-17, 1-5)   

This is an opportunity for both teams to pick up their first series win of the year, while the loser will continue to fall farther behind the leaders.

Offensively, UALR ranks tied for sixth hitting (.255), while ULM ranks last (.220).

Pitching-wise the Trojans rank second in ERA. (3.38), while the Warhawks currently rank last (6.25).

Game times are set for 6 pm, 6 pm, and 1 pm (cdt) Friday-Sunday


TEXAS ST. (15-9, 5-1) at ARKANSAS ST. (14-11, 5-1)

Both of these teams are 5-1, and tied for second place, only one game out of first place, so this is a big early season series.

In the hitting department, Arkansas St. ranks fourth (.285), with Texas St. a few spots behind in eighth (.245).

In terms of pitching, the Red Wolves currently rank sixth as a team (4.10), while the Bobcats rank fifth (3.83).

Scheduled game times are 6 pm (cdt) on Friday, 4 pm on Saturday, and 1 pm on Sunday.


UT-ARLINGTON (9-16, 1-5) at SOUTH ALABAMA (13-10, 3-2)

This is a key series for both schools, with UT-Arlington trying to keep from dropping their third-consecutive series, and South Alabama looking to make up some ground on the three programs ahead of them in the standings.

South Alabama ranks ninth in hitting (.242), and fourth in pitching (3.68 ERA.), while UT-Arlington ranks third in hitting (.294) and seventh in pitching (4.27).

Game times are set for 6:30 pm, 6:30 pm, and 1 pm (cdt), Friday-Sunday.


TROY (14-11, 3-2) at GEORGIA ST. (12-14, 1-5) 

As is the case in every series this weekend, this one is important, as Troy is only one-and-a-half games out of second place, while Georgia St. has a chance to get back on track at home, after getting swept by Louisiana on the road last weekend.

Offensively, Georgia St. ranks second in hitting (.297), and features Nic Wilson, who leads the league in hitting (.417), home runs (11), and runs batted in (33), while Troy is  hitting a .255, which ranks them in a tie for sixth.

In the pitching category, the Panthers are currently ninth (5.54 ERA.), while the Trojans rank third (3.45).

Game times for the series are 5 pm (cdt) on Friday, 1 pm on Saturday, and noon on Sunday.