LA Tech falls to SIUE, 5-2, in series finale
RUSTON, La. – The Louisiana Tech baseball team wrapped up its first home series of 2018, dropping a 5-2 decision to the visiting SIU-Edwardsville Cougars on a rainy Sunday morning from J.C. Love Field.
SIUE (2-4) strung together its best offensive output of the series, notching five runs on seven hits, while drawing five walks. Meanwhile, the Tech (5-3) offense was stymied by SIUE starter Kenny Serwa (1-0) who went six innings, giving up just two hits and no runs.
Tech starter Logan Bailey matched Serwa pitch-for-pitch, tossing six shutout innings himself, while striking out six and walking one. Bailey allowed just three hits on the day and took a tough no decision, while lowering his season ERA to 1.64.
“He went six innings and got six punch-outs,” head coach Lane Burroughs noted. “I thought he threw very well today. He was in command of all his pitches and controlled the zone. Logan is a tough young man and you don’t have to talk him into playing. He comes the ballpark ready to do whatever the team needs and I’m glad he’s on our club.”
“It’s a tough loss for us, but that’s baseball. We’ve got to find a way to bounce back with a tough week ahead of us. We’re still a new young ball club, and we’ve got to find a way to not be satisfied with just winning a series. We’ve just got to be better executing offensively.”
Neither team mustered any worthwhile offense through the first six innings, until the Cougars got to reliever Kent Hasler (0-1). The senior righty entered the game in the seventh inning and struck out the leadoff man, Cordova-Smith. With two outs after a foulout to catcher Chris Clayton, third baseman Jared McCunn drove a 2-0 fastball over the wall in right for the first run of the game.
After Tech went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh, SIUE’s Eric Giltz drew a one-out walk, ending Hasler’s day and bringing in junior southpaw Quinton Logan. After a four-pitch walk and a wild pitch placed runners on second and third with one out, Logan bore down and got a big strikeout of Jordan Ross for the second out of the inning. However, an excuse-me swing on a pitch that fooled Cordova-Smith, was blooped into left field scoring two and giving the Cougars a 3-0 lead.
With two away, designated hitter Brock Weimer came through with a wall-scraping home run to left, giving SIUE a four-spot in the eighth and a 5-0 lead in the game.
The Tech offense got a pair of runs back in the bottom of the eighth, courtesy of an RBI groundout from Steele Netterville and an RBI single from Mason Robinson. Following Robinson’s base knock, Shelton Wallace was called on to pinch hit for Graham Hackbarth, but struck out looking after the home plate umpire seemingly forgot the count and told Wallace to come back to the plate after ball four. Hunter Wells flied out to deep right field, just missing a game-tying home run, and SIUE was out of the inning, allowing just the two runs.
Braxton Smith sat down the Cougars after allowing a pair of two-out walks and gave the Tech offense a chance to tie or go ahead in the bottom of the ninth.
Mason McReaken, who got the final two outs of the eighth for SIUE, came out to pitch the ninth, and plunked Skelton and Clayton, placing the tying run at the plate with one out. Tech was unable to capitalize, however, as Bates and Netterville struck out, ending the ballgame.
Tech will conclude its five-game stretch at home on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m., welcoming Northwestern State (4-3) to J.C. Love Field, before heading to Frisco, Texas, next weekend for the Frisco Classic against Texas A&M, Cal and Baylor.
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