LA Tech drops 12-10 slugfest to Air Force

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RUSTON – After a stellar effort on the mound by Louisiana Tech pitchers last night, the arms struggled in game two against Air Force, giving up 13 hits and nine freebies as the Bulldogs fell, 12-10, to the Falcons on Wednesday afternoon at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.

LA Tech (9-8) used four pitchers who combined for 17 punch-outs and a complete game shutout in game one. In game two, the Bulldogs used seven pitchers that had a tough time finding the strike zone.

Air Force (6-12) took full advantage, putting up runs in five different innings. Four of those were crooked numbers that came in the third (RBI single by Jake Greiving and a towering 2-run homer to the train tracks by Jay Thomason), fourth (two runs on a hit-by-pitch and wild pitch), sixth (trio of runs via sacrifice fly, double, and single), and eighth (three more, including a two-run double to the gap by Matt Thompson).

A depleted Bulldog lineup was putting up runs themselves, but the Falcons would answer almost every time. LA Tech cut the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the third when Karson Evans doubled to left center. The freshman was also responsible for their first run of the game with an RBI single through the left side in the first inning.

Air Force countered though with two runs in the top of the fourth.

LA Tech split the deficit in half, 8-5, in the sixth when Jonathan Hogart cleared the left-field wall for a three-run homer.

The Falcons punched back with a run in the seventh and three in the eighth.

Doubled up on the scoreboard again at 12-6 going into the ninth, the Bulldogs put one last rally together. With the bases juiced and nobody out, Adarius Myers doubled down the left field line to score two. Logan McLeod immediately followed with an RBI sacrifice fly on the first pitch he saw.

With the deficit chopped in half again, Will Safford scored Myers on an RBI groundout to first base. Pinch-hitter Baylor Cobb grounded out to the right side as well to end the rally.

Nick Fraginals (0-1), making his second start as a Bulldog, took the loss after throwing 3.2 innings while allowing five runs on six hits. Jason Shuger (1-1) got the win for Air Force, relieving starter Ben Weber to throw 2.0 innings of shutout ball.

LA Tech’s Evans went 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBIs. Hogart and Myers each had a multi-RBI game with three apiece.

Head coach Lane Burroughs

“It is hard to overcome that many freebies between walks and HBPs. I am floored at our lack of being able to throw strikes. They are not in pressure situations. It is disheartening and disappointing. Here we are going into conference play and we have guys that cannot throw strikes. We miss our guys that are out. If you are going to be great though, you have to find a way to win these things no matter who is playing. We did not get it done.”

LA Tech opens up Conference USA play this weekend against Charlotte. The Bulldogs and 49ers get their three-game series underway on Friday, March 17 at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.

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