Feb. 21, 2012
RUSTON, La. – Kody Neel hit a three-run home run to center field as Louisiana Tech defeated UAPB 13-8 Tuesday afternoon at Delta Natural Kraft Field in Pine Bluff.
Louisiana Tech got off to an early start as the Bulldogs scored five runs on four hits in the second inning.
Freshman Bre’shon Kimbell led off the inning with a double to right field as Jeff Whitney lost the ball in the sun. Second baseman Austin Hedges followed with a single to center field to extend his hit streak to 13 games, giving Tech runners at the corners with no outs. Catcher Kyle Arnsberg followed with a double into the right-center gap scoring Kimbell, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
After Stephen Gandy grounded out to third, right fielder Kody Neel hit into a fielder’s choice as UAPB’s third baseman Cody Demara unsuccessfully attempted to tag Hedges at third. After Sam Alvis, making his first career start, popped up to second for the second out of the frame, leadoff hitter Taylor Terrasas was hit by a pitch to drive in Hedges as the bases remained loaded for Ryan Gebhardt.
Gebhardt (drove) a 2-1 pitch into the left center gap, clearing the bases and extending his hitting streak to 21 games as Tech took a 5-0 lead.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff scored one run in the third after a wild pitch put a runner in scoring position and an error allowed Chris Montgomery to score.
UAPB scored a run in the fifth and sixth inning to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 5-3.
LA Tech added another run in the seventh inning as Terrasas singled and moved to third on a Williams single. Kimbell came up with two outs and runners at the corners to drive in Terrasas on a RBI single up the middle, giving Tech a 6-3 lead.
However, the biggest inning came in the ninth when Tech exploded for seven runs on six hits, highlighted by a three-run HR off the bat of Neel.
After Terrasas lined out to second, Gebhardt, Williams and Kimbell hit back-to-back-to-back doubles to give the Bulldogs a 8-3 lead. A costly error by UAPB shortstop Sean Samsa allowed Kimbell to score and the inning continued as Hedges reached first base.
Arnsberg singled and Gandy walked to bring up Neel. After a wild pitch allowed Hedges to score, Neel hit a 1-2 fastball to center field for his first career home run as a Bulldog, giving Tech a 13-3 lead going into the bottom half of the inning.
After 2.2 scoreless innings of one-hit baseball by Dakota Doss, head coach Wade Simoneaux brought in reliever Benn Fairbanks, who was making his first appearance since 2009 after multiple season-ending injuries.
Simoneaux made a tactical move by sending Doss to left field as Fairbanks took the mound. Fairbanks struggled with his command as he allowed five runs on four hits without recording an out as the Golden Lions scored five runs in the bottom half of the ninth.
Simoneaux then moved Doss back to the mound to get the final three outs as Doss finished off the game for the Bulldogs.
With the win, the Bulldogs are now 2-2 before heading to Little Rock, Ark. for a game against 2011 Sun Belt Champions UALR on Wednesday Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.
Live stats will be provided via Game Tracker on www.LATechSports.com, the official home page for Louisiana Tech Athletics.