UALR (11-10, 1-5) at ULM (8-17, 1-5), Friday, 6 p.m.
ULM's baseball team will be under new leadership when it hosts Arkansas-Little Rock for a three-game weekend set. Game times are 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
Jeff Schexnaider was fired Thursday after eight-plus seasons as head coach. A ULM alumnus, “Shake” guided the Warhawks to the 2008 Sun Belt Conference regular season championship and the 2012 Sun Belt Tournament championship. Making the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 12 years, the 2012 Warhawks went 1-2 in the Baton Rouge Regional.
Since then, the Warhawks have struggled. Coming off of an 18-36 record in 2013, ULM currently stands 8-17.
ULM had lost nine in a row before winning last Friday's Sun Belt series opener against Troy 7-4. However, the Warhawks fell to 1-5 in conference play after dropping Games 2 and 3 by margins of 4-3 and 19-3.
Overall, the Warhawks were 212-251 during Schexnaider's tenure.
Bruce Peddie, who spent four years as head coach at New Orleans, has been promoted from hitting coach to interim head coach.
Struggling in all phases, the Warhawks enter the weekend ranked dead last in the 10-team Sun Belt in team batting average (.220) and team earned run average (6.25).
ULM will send junior righthander Chris Hunt (1-1, 3.28) to the mound Friday, with senior lefthander Chad Miller (2-0, 4.09) getting the call on Saturday and sophomore righty Alex Hermeling (0-3, 5.84) taking the hill Sunday.
UALR (11-10) will counter with senior lefty Travis McDonald (2-1, 3.27) in Game 1, senior righthander Ethan Schlechte (2-2, 6.15) in Game 2 and junior righty Cameron Allen (1-1, 2.76) in Sunday's series finale.
Junior left fielder/catcher Justin Stawychny is batting .281 with two home runs, 10 RBI and 16 runs scored to lead the Warhawks offensively. Sophomore shortstop Kodie Tidwell's .273 batting average is second on the team.
Like ULM, the Trojans are off to a 1-5 start in conference play. Last weekend, UALR lost the first two games to South Alabama (9-6, 6-5), before picking up its first conference win with a 10-0 victory in Game 3.
Junior right fielder Tanner Rockwell and senior third baseman Ben Crumpton have swung the most productive bats in the UALR lineup. Rockwell is batting .360 with four home runs, 19 RBI, a .475 on base percentage and a .613 slugging clip. Crumpton is batting .311 while leading the team with 16 runs and 16 stolen bases in 17 attempts.
Redshirt freshman catcher Joseph Paulino, who has drawn only six starts, was 7-for-14 in the South Alabama series.