LA Tech batters UL Lafayette, 11-3
LAFAYETTE, La. – The Louisiana Tech baseball team completed its season sweep of the UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns on Tuesday evening, securing a convincing 11-3 win in front of 4,532 from M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field at Russo Park.
The Bulldogs (22-10), propelled by 13 hits and 10 combined walks and HBPs, extended their winning streak to eight consecutive games, and have now won six of the last eight meetings with the Ragin’ Cajuns (17-18). In the last two meetings between the two teams in Lafayette, Tech has outscored the hosts, 26-5.
“I’m proud of our guys for coming in here and getting this win tonight,” head coach Lane Burroughs said. “I feel like the vibe in our dugout is really good right now. This is one of our toughest weeks of the year, so it’s nice to get out on the right foot. Walks, HBPs and errors lead to big innings, and we’ve done a great job on capitalizing on those freebies. We left some guys out there, but it was a big win for us over a good club in a tough place to play. It’s great anytime you can beat an in-state rival, especially on the road.”
In addition to the three innings with crooked numbers from the Tech offense (four in the fifth, three in the eighth, two in the ninth), the Bulldog pitching staff held ULL to just three runs on seven hits, while combining to walk just one and struck out 12.
David Leal got the start for the ‘Dogs, his second start and third appearance since returning from injury. The senior tossed a season-high three innings, while allowing two runs on two hits. Leal struck out four and did not walk a batter.
Left-hander Kyle Griffen entered in relief of Leal in his team-leading 20th appearance of the year, and picked up his team-leading sixth win of 2019, tossing 2.1 innings, while allowing just one run on two hits.
The Bulldogs began the game with single runs in both the first and second innings. In the first, Mason Mallard got the scoring started with a first-pitch solo home run to left, his sixth long ball of the season.
The, after ULL plated two in the bottom of the first off Leal, Tech came right back and tied the game, courtesy of an RBI single to center from designated hitter Manny Garcia.
Both teams were kept off the board in the third and fourth innings, before Tech put up the first crooked number of the day in the top of the fifth. Leadoff man Taylor Young began things with a leadoff walk, and then came home to score after an RBI triple to left from Hunter Wells.
Leading now 3-2, the Bulldogs saw an RBI sac fly from Parker Bates, a Tanner Huddleston RBI single and a Chris Clayton RBI single, blowing the lead out to four at 6-2.
Tech is outscoring its opponents, 44-15 in the fifth inning alone this season.
ULL would come back with a run in the bottom half, but Tyler Follis (1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB) and Jonathan Fincher (2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 K, 0 BB) combined to keep the home team off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
With a 6-3 lead, Tech added insurance in the final two innings, picking up three runs in the eighth and two in the ninth, running away with an 11-3 triumph.
Fincher picked up his third save of the season, as he entered the game with the potential tying run at the plate, and tossed the final two scoreless innings, preserving the win.
Tech batters drew a season-high six HBPs on the evening, something done twice by last year’s team that led the league in the category.
Tanner Huddleston (3-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 R) and left fielder Seth White (3-for-5, 2 R) combined to reach base eight times, while Hunter Wells and Parker Bates combined to drive in six of Tech’s 11 runs on the evening.
ULL starter Logan Savoy was tagged with the loss, pitching 4.1 innings, while allowing five runs (all earned) on six hits. The left-hander struck out two and walked one.
The Bulldogs will continue their road swing this weekend, travelling to the league-leading Florida Atlantic Owls (11-1 in C-USA) for a three-game set from Boca Raton, Florida.
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