LA Tech falls to WKU, 6-1

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Louisiana Tech baseball team left 11 runners on base, as WKU took a 6-1 victory on Friday evening from Nick Denes Field.

The Bulldogs (29-15, 13-6 C-USA) saw a leadoff solo home run from Parker Bates in the top of the sixth inning, but that would be all the squad could muster against WKU’s (20-21, 10-9 C-USA) tough left-hander Ryan Thurston (4-4). The southpaw went 8.0 innings, while allowing just the one run on seven hits. Thurston struck out nine, and walked two in the 120-pitch effort.

Meanwhile, Tech starter Matt Miller (4-3) went 7.0 innings allowing five runs (all earned) on eight hits, and struck out three. Miller suffered a tough four-run third, keyed by a two-out three-run blast from WKU catcher Colin Butkiewicz.

After the homer made it a 5-0 ballgame, Miller buckled down and retired the next 11 straight batters he saw. The Aurora, Illinois, native allowed just one baserunner after the three-run blast.

The Tech offense saw baserunners in six innings, but struggled to bring them home, stranding 11 on the evening.

Bates led the offense with the lone RBI, and went 2-for-4 off the tough left-hander Thurston. Hunter Wells also notched a multiple-hit effort, as he went 2-for-4 at the dish, giving him a team-best 22 multiple-hit games this season.

Wells, who made the start at first base for the first time this season, held down the fort, and handled multiple tricky grounders and hard-hit line drives for a solid defensive performance.

The 4-5-6 hitters for the Hilltoppers did the majority of the damage at the plate, combining for a 6-for-13 effort at the plate, and driving in five of the team’s six runs.

Quinton Logan gave the Bulldogs a solid inning of relief, allowing a hit and an unearned run, but struck out two of the five batters he faced.

Bates home run in the sixth continued Tech’s positive output in the sixth inning this season, as the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents, 34-9 in the sixth frame this year.

Tech batters stood in for three hit-by-pitches tonight, as Mason Mallard, Mason Robinson and Steele Netterville all reached base the hard way. The Bulldogs continue to lead the league in that category, racking up a total of 73 hit-by-pitches so far this season.

Game two of the three-game set is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT tomorrow afternoon. Left-hander Logan Robbins (6-0, 3.43 ERA) is set to make his 11th start of the season for the Bulldogs, while WKU will counter with right-hander Paul Kirkpatrick (4-3, 4.97 ERA).

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