Warhawks and Demons renew rivalry on Wednesday

ULM (1-2 overall, 0-0 Sun Belt Conference) at Northwestern State (2-1 overall, 0-0 Southland Conference)
3 p.m. Wednesday, February 23 | Brown-Stroud field | Natchitoches, Louisiana
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Game Notes

MONROE, Louisiana – The ULM Warhawks play their first midweek game at 3 p.m. Wednesday against Northwestern State at Brown-Stroud Field in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Wednesday’s game is available for video streaming on NSUdemons.com, with a link available on the baseball schedule page on ULMWarhawks.com. The game will also be streamed on KMLB.com and the TuneIn app with Mike Hammet On call.

Wednesday’s game is the 226th all-time meeting between the Warhawks and Demons, with NSU leading the series 113-112. ULM won last year’s only meeting, 5-2, on February 24, 2021, at Warhawk Field. It was the opening of the season for the ULM. Weather and the COVID-19 pandemic have forced the cancellation of all meetings scheduled for 2020. This is the ULM’s first visit to Brown-Stroud Field since Feb. 26, 2019, when Northwestern State a picked up a 15-0 victory. The Warhawks have lost seven straight games to NSU in Natchitoches, last beating the Demons at home on March 26, 2013, 5-4.

ULM’s series with Northwestern State is the most played rivalry in school history, ranking ahead of McNeese (196 games) and Louisiana Tech (184 games).

ULM (1-2 overall) lost the final two games of the weekend series to Southern Illinois after winning the season opener 1-0 on Friday night. The Warhawks are hitting .221 after opening weekend with three doubles, two home runs, 13 RBIs, 13 runs scored and 14 walks. ULM blocked 13 runners in each of the two losses, 11-3 on Saturday and 10-9 on Sunday. The Warhawks hit just .171 (6 for 35) with runners in scoring position. On the mound, ULM has a 4.67 team ERA, allowing 21 runs, 14 earned, on 30 hits with 31 strikeouts for 13 walks.

ULM Head Coach Michael Federico is in his fifth season with the Warhawks. After leading the club to an 11-win improvement in his first year and a two-win improvement in his second year, he led the Warhawks to their first .500-or-better season since 2012 with a 26- 26 in 2021 as ULM finished third in the Sun Belt Conference West Division. Federico is 3-2 against Northwestern State, with his three wins at Warhawk Field.

Northwestern State (2-1) bounced back from a season-opening loss to Stephen F. Austin to win the final two games of the weekend series against former Conference rival Southland at Brown-Stroud Field. The Demons are averaging .289 with six doubles, three home runs, 11 RBIs, 14 runs scored and six walks. On the mound, NSU has a 4.00 ERA with 13 runs, 12 earned, on 23 hits with 30 strikeouts for 11 walks while opponents are hitting just .235. Daunte Stuart led NSU on opening weekend, hitting .462 (6 for 13) with three doubles and two RBIs.

Northwestern State head coach Bobby Barbier is in his sixth season with the Demons. The NSU alumnus led the Demons to a Southland Conference Tournament Championship and an NCAA Region appearance in 2018. Barbier is 4-3 against ULM and 3-0 against the Warhawks at home.

ULM Senior Third Baseman Grant Schulz was selected to Perfect Game’s Sun Belt conference preseason team at designated hitter.

Schulz led the Warhawks with a .333 batting average in 2021, which ranked fifth in the Sun Belt Conference. He had 10 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 30 RBIs, 22 runs scored and 12 walks in 42 games with 35 starts this season. Schulz played an important role in ULM’s late-season push. Schulz broke a team record .440 (33 for 75) from April 18 to May 28 with eight doubles, two triples, three home runs, 20 RBIs, 18 runs scored, five walks and two stolen bases. During that span, Schulz increased his batting average by .185 to lead the team at .333. He’s hit safely in nine of the last 10 games with six multi-hit games during that streak.

Schulz opened the 2022 season with a 3-for-12 record against Southern Illinois, starting all three games at third base. He had two hits and two RBIs with one walk, one run scored and one stolen base in Sunday’s 10-9 loss to the Salukis.

Second-year shortstop Carson Jones had a big impact against Southern Illinois. Jones had two of ULM’s six hits in the series with runners in the scoring position, each tying the game. He had a two-out double and 2 RBIs on the left field line to tie Saturday’s game at 2 in the second inning. On Sunday, he scored a 3-point home run to left center as the Warhawks tied the game at 8 in the sixth inning. His five RBIs led the ULM against the SIU.

The 2022 season opener weekend featured six stolen bases and an inside-the-park home run for the Warhawks.

Junior second baseman Travis Washburn tied Sunday’s game at 1 in the second inning when he hit a drive off the top of the right center field wall, where he carused over the center fielder’s head and rolled into center field . Washburn drove the bases for his second career home run inside the park.

ULM had six of seven base steal attempts against SIU, with a senior Trace Henry go 3 for 3 on stolen bases. Senior Grant Schulzsecond Matthew Lee and freshman William Perkins also stole a base each.

The 2022 ULM roster includes seven players from within Ouachita Parish. The Warhawks have four players who attended West Monroe High School (senior ryan cupitsecond year students John Chase and Carson Jones and freshman small way), two from Sterlington High School (freshman in red shirt adam tubbs and real freshman William Perkins) and one from Ouachita Parish High School (real freshman Zach Shaw). In total, the Warhawks have 17 players from the state of Louisiana.

The ULM unveiled their P-40 Warhawk series uniforms on March 7, 2021 against Nicholls. The Warhawks will wear the P-40 uniforms every Sunday, home or away, and for select midweek games. Curtiss P-40 Warhawks were the primary armament of United States Army Air Force (USAFF) fighter squadrons in the early 1940s. In the summer of 1941, Major General Claire Lee Chennault, who grew up in Louisiana , began recruiting and training pilots for the American Volunteer Group, which became known as the “Flying Tigers” in China during World War II. The P-40 Warhawk inspired the new ULM moniker/mascot, adopted in 2006. The P-40 series of uniforms incorporate details of the fighter into its design. The ULM baseball team is the third Warhawk team to wear a P-40 Warhawk alternate uniform, joining men’s football and basketball.

The 2021 ULM baseball roster includes two players from Canada: pitcher Tylor Jans (Edmonton, Alberta) and pitcher Lucas Wepf (Brampton, Ontario).

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