LA Tech Drops Season Opener in Extras
Feb. 16, 2018
MALIBU, Calif. – Pepperdine’s Dempsey Glover drove a single just over the glove of Louisiana Tech’s Tanner Huddleston with the bases loaded, as the Waves walked away with a 2-1 victory in the bottom of the 11th inning, Friday afternoon from Eddy D. Field Stadium.
LA Tech (0-1), saw a brilliant start from redshirt junior Matt Miller. The Aurora, Illinois, native was electric through his seven innings pitched, allowing just two hits and one unearned run, along with a career-high 10 strikeouts. The game-one starter for the Bulldogs continually found himself ahead in counts, thanks to a plethora of first-pitch strikes.
“I thought Matt Miller was outstanding,” Tech head coach Lane Burroughs said. “He gave us a chance to win the ball game. I can’t say enough about what he did. Obviously he punched out a lot of guys, so his pitch count got up, and we had to get him out of there. I thought Josh Carpenter was tremendous as well. He gave us a chance to win and pitched more today than he did all year last year, and that was encouraging.”
“Bottom line is we didn’t have great competitive at bats. I thought our guys played hard and I thought the energy was great. We’ll be okay. We didn’t dominate a couple average plays – which is something we preach. It’s a tough loss and a tough one to swallow on opening day, but I liked the way our guys competed.”
In the first three innings, Miller struck out eight of the first nine Waves’ hitters, including striking out the side in back-to-back innings.
Pepperdine (1-0) starter Wil Jensen matched the dazzling display put on by Miller, tossing 7.1 innings of shutout ball, while giving up five hits and striking out five in the pitcher’s duel.
Sophomore outfielder Parker Bates notched the first Bulldog hit off of Jensen in the top of the second, but was quickly stranded.
Both pitchers moved efficiently through the next couple innings until the home team started to make noise in the fourth. Pepperdine’s Kanfer gave the Waves their first baserunner of the afternoon, after sneaking a ground ball past third base. Shortly after, a Skelton fielding error gave Pepperdine runners at the corners with two outs.
The Waves capitalized on the mistake, as Belk brought home Kanfer with an RBI single and the game’s first run.
The action cruised through seven innings as both pitchers seemed to hit their strides.
In the top of the eighth, the Tech offense seemed to get to Jensen.
Cole Warken clubbed a leadoff single to left, getting the ‘Dogs the baserunner that they needed. Seth White entered the game as a pinch-runner and immediately moved to second, after Jensen failed to cleanly field a sacrifice bunt attempt from Skelton. However, the Waves would call on Garcia out of the pen, who induced an inning-ending double-play ground ball from Mason Mallard.
In the top of the ninth, still trailing 1-0, the Tech offense manufactured a game-tying run as Huddleston came home after an error on a Parker Bates ground ball.
Live updates will be available by following @LATechBSB on Twitter.
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