LA Tech takes opener over DBU, 5-2
RUSTON – The Friday pitching recipe of Jonathan Fincher, Landon Tomkins, and Ethan Bates, along with some timely hitting and outfield web gems, propelled Louisiana Tech to a 5-2 victory over Dallas Baptist in the series opener on a gusty Friday at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
Fincher (5-2) picked up his third straight conference victory, going 6.0 innings while allowing just two runs on five hits and striking out seven. Tomkins came on for 1.1 innings of relief, getting out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh with a strikeout and fly out.
Then it was the closer Bates, getting five outs for his fifth save of the season. Three of those outs came via strikeout, all happening in the ninth after the Patriots got the first two runners on and the tying run to the plate.
With the wind howling all game long, Dallas Baptist (17-9, 4-3 C-USA) struck first with a solo shot by Miguel Santos who got one up into the wind and stayed fair down the left field line in the first inning.
Fincher settled in after that, only allowing one more run in the sixth when Ethan Mann scored Santos on a sacrifice fly.
In between those two innings, LA Tech (14-12, 4-3 C-USA) put up four runs. Dalton Davis smashed a single past the third baseman in the second to bring home Will Safford who had doubled to lead things off.
After a strikeout by Jorge Corona, Brody Drost had a check-swing single that made it through the left side to score Philip Matulia and give the Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage.
Solo homers to left by Walker Burchfield in the fourth and Davis in the fifth supplied LA Tech with a couple more runs. Then with a 4-2 edge, Logan McLeod gave the ‘Dogs another insurance run with a two-out, RBI single up the middle.
Sprinkled into the pitching and hitting were web gems all around for LA Tech, including McLeod’s snag at third base, a running catch made in left center by Adarius Myers, and several chase down flies by Matulia in right field.
Head coach Lane Burroughs
“I am very proud of our team. We have won four of our last five and that is four quality starts. [Jonathan] Fincher was outstanding. It was a short week for him because he pitched on Saturday. He left it all out there on the mound. He was tremendous. [Landon] Tomkins was great and [Ethan] Bates was really good at the end of the game. That has been our recipe on Friday night and it has worked for us. There are so many parts to this game. Adarius Myers did not have a good day at the plate, but had a tremendous catch out in left field. Philip Matulia had two great catches out there in right field. It was the little things we did right.”
“We played solid baseball. Dallas Baptist has been hot. It was a big win for us. When your team is having fun and playing loose, it is a good vibe. Things change in baseball when you start getting a few wins and start having some success. Right now, I love the vibe.”
• With the win, LA Tech now leads the all-time series over Dallas Baptist, 15-10. The Bulldogs are now 12-4 versus the Patriots in Ruston and have won four of the last six in the series.
• The Bulldogs has now won the opening game in five of their seven series this season.
• Dalton Davis tied his season high with three hits, including his fourth home run of the year. He leads the team with 28 hits this season.
• Walker Burchfield had his fourth multi-hit game of the season, including his second homer of the year.
• Jonathan Fincher picked up his fifth win of the season and the 24th victory of his career (tied for the fifth most in program history). He is now 3-0 in C-USA starts this season.
• Jonathan Fincher struck out seven in his 6.0 innings of work, giving him 281 strikeouts for his career (fourth most in program history).
• Ethan Bates notched his fifth save of the season, tied for the most in C-USA.
LA Tech and Dallas Baptist square off again on Saturday at 2 p.m. at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
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