LA Tech rallies once again, clinches weekend series at Southeastern

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HAMMOND, La. – The Louisiana Tech baseball team took a page out of Friday’s script and rallied yet again, coming from an 8-1 deficit on Saturday afternoon, and taking a 15-11 road win over the host Southeastern Louisiana Lions from Pete Kenney Diamond at Alumni Field.

“Makeup, character and toughness will beat talent nine times out of 10, I firmly believe that,” head coach Lane Burroughs said. “Our guys have shown a level of toughness and maturity over these past two days that I’m incredibly proud of. I just like or vibe in the dugout. Our guys enjoy being around each other and that’s important. It’s great to get on the road and pull out a series win, but we want that sweep tomorrow. Sundays are about toughness. We talk about that all the time.”

With the win, the Bulldogs (2-0) clinched the weekend series, behind their second dramatic come-from-behind win in as many days.

Southeastern (0-2) once again jumped out to an early lead as the Lions tagged Tech starter Logan Robbins for eight runs (seven earned). The left-hander made it through 2.2 innings, while allowing six hits and striking out one while walking four.

Meanwhile, the Lions’ starter Will Warren cruised through the first three innings, allowing just one run on a wild pitch in the first.

However, the Bulldog bats started to get to the right-hander beginning in the fourth inning after an RBI double from Steele Netterville and a run-scoring error by Nick Ray in left field.

Then, trailing now 9-3, the Bulldogs exploded for eight runs in the top of the fifth. 13 batters went to the plate as Tech batted around for the second fifth inning in as many days.

Senior Tanner Huddleston got the scoring started in the frame, launching an absolute moonshot deep into left field for a three-run home run – Tech’s first long ball of the young season. Trailing now 9-6, and with all the momentum, Tech got an RBI single from Mason Mallard, an RBI single from Chris Clayton, an RBI single from Taylor Young and a 2-RBI single from Parker Bates, to cap off the eight-run frame and propel the ‘Dogs out to an 11-9 lead.

On the mound, just as Tyler Follis had done yesterday, Kyle Griffen (1-0) entered in relief of Robbins and gave the Bulldogs ample opportunities to make a comeback. The southpaw delivered three full innings, allowing just one earned run on four hits, while striking out two.

Senior Braxton Smith entered the game in relief of Griffen in the bottom of the sixth with two on and two outs, still protecting a two-run lead. Smith induced a groundball to third to end the inning, keeping the Bulldog momentum alive.

The Lions drew to within one in the bottom of the eighth after an RBI single from Nathan Pilutti.

Then in the top of the ninth, Tech once again put up a crooked number on the scoreboard, plating four and bringing the lead out to five.

Taylor Young once again came up clutch for the ‘Dogs, lacing a two-RBI double into right-center, followed shortly thereafter by a two-run blast to right from Parker Bates.

Smith would allow a run to cross in the ninth, but induced a groundout to first from Schimpf to end the game.

Smith picked up the save (his first of 2019), tossing 3.1 innings, while allowing just two runs (one earned) and striking out five.

After the bottom of the lineup paced Tech in game one, it was the top half of the lineup that produced consistently in game two’s outburst. Leadoff man Hunter Wells reached base all six times (three hits, three walks and scored four runs). Taylor Young was a sparkplug from the second spot, went 4-for-5 with three RBI, a run scored and a walk. Parker Bates led the way with four RBI while Huddleston added three.

With the win, Tech collected its sixth consecutive series win, dating back to the 2017 season.

The Bulldogs will look for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon with Sunday’s first pitch set for 1 p.m. Tech is slated to start senior left-handed pitcher Logan Bailey (8-1, 2.24 ERA, 76.1 IP, 60 K, 17 BB) while Southeastern will counter with right-hander Carlisle Koestler (7-1, 2.68 ERA, 87.1 IP, 73 K, 13 BB).

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