Bats Get Hot as Tech Rolls in Series Finale
Feb. 18, 2018
MALIBU, Calif. – For the Louisiana Tech baseball team, quality pitching had been the only constant in the first three games against Pepperdine. In the series finale, the Tech offense finally joined the party, cranking out nine runs on 13 hits, en route to a 9-3 win on Sunday afternoon and a 2-2 series split with the Waves.
“Another quality start today, head coach Lane Burroughs commented. “The difference today was that we got two-out hits. Mason Robinson and Cole Warken both came through with big hits. It was good to see Tanner Huddleston get an RBI. I thought we ran the bases very aggressively. It was good to see us take good swings and identify a ball and a strike. I know that sounds elementary, but that was the difference. It was fun to watch and fun to coach. I’m proud of our guys and the effort they showed today.”
The party started early for the Bulldogs (2-2), as junior leftfielder Mason Mallard launched a solo home run to left field in the first inning, seemingly jumpstarting the previously dormant Tech offense.
The Waves (2-2) responded in the bottom half of the frame, after a sacrifice fly from cleanup hitter Jordan Qsar. In the second, Pepperdine took its only lead of the ballgame after another sacrifice fly, this time from Lambert.
Both pitchers cruised through the third, before the Tech offense started to find its groove.
In the fourth, Chris Clayton drove home Mallard, who had reached on an infield single and stole second. With Clayton on first, centerfielder Parker Bates worked a patient walk, chasing the Pepperdine starter Lucas, who could not record an out in the fourth.
Tech third baseman Tanner Huddleston wasted no time in getting to the new reliever, Garcia, as he drove an RBI single into right center, giving Tech back the lead at 3-2.
“One of the biggest things today was the zero in the errors column, said Burroughs. “That was the first thing I told them postgame. We played solid defense today. When you put things in perspective, I thought our guys held their own, opening the season 1,000 miles away from home and against a good club.”
Needing a shutdown inning, Bailey found himself with runners on second and third with one out, but a strikeout and a groundout to third gave the southpaw the shutdown inning he needed.
In the top of the fifth, Wells reached on an error, Mallard singled for his third hit of the day and Clayton was nicked by a pitch, loading the bases with two outs. Bates subsequently drove an RBI single up the middle, scoring Wells and stretching the Tech lead to 4-2.
Another shutdown inning for Bailey included two more strikeouts, wrapping up his day with a quality start. The versatile lefty held the Waves offense in check, recording five innings and allowing just two runs on six hits and striking out four.
The seventh inning saw more Bulldog offense than the previous three games combined. The ‘Dogs tacked on five more runs, highlighted by a two-run double for Cole Warken and a two-run single for Mason Robinson.
Mallard (3-for-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 R), Clayton (2-for-2, 1 RBI, 2 BB), Bates (2-for-3, 1 RBI, 2 BB), Huddleston (1-for-4, 2 RBI), Warken (2-for-5, 2 RBI) and Robinson (2-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 BB) all paced the Tech offense to its most productive game of 2018.
The Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday in their home opener against McNeese State from J.C. Love Field. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. CT.
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