Offense Explodes for 13 Runs in Friday Win over SIUE
Feb. 23, 2018
RUSTON, La. – The Louisiana Tech baseball team used a seven-run fourth inning and a combined 19 strikeouts from its pitching staff to take a 13-1 triumph over the visiting SIU-Edwardsville Cougars Friday evening from J.C. Love Field.
The Tech offense cranked out a season-high in hits (16) and runs (13), led by multiple-hit efforts from Dalton Skelton (3-for-5, 3 runs), Chris Clayton (3-for-5, 3 RBI), Steele Netterville (2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBI) and Logan Bailey (2-for-4, 4 RBI).
“It was good to see our offense explode,” head coach Lane Burroughs said. “It was good to see us take good swings and take command of the strike zone like we did. Matt Miller didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but tip of the cap to SIUE – they made him work. He competed though, because that’s what he is – a competitor. I thought Carpenter came in and was outstanding for the second time this year.”
“I thought we did a great job with two strikes tonight. We only struck out seven times and walked four. Coach Creel has done such a great job with our guys in the cage and I thought our hitters came out and responded tonight.”
Matt Miller got through four innings, allowing just one run on three hits, while striking out eight. After Miller exited, the bullpen relief stepped up in a big way, as Josh Carpenter (3.0 IP, 2 H, 5 SO, 0 R), Tanner Propst (1.0 IP, 3 SO, 0 R) and Kyle Griffen (1.0 IP, 3 SO) combined for five innings of two-hit baseball, while striking out 11 Cougars combined.
Trailing 1-0 entering the second, SIUE opened the frame with back-to-back walks with nobody out. However, Miller who has had a knack for the punchout early on this season, struck out back-to-back hitters and induced a lineout to third to escape the inning with no damage.
Tech would tack on two more runs in the second and third innings, courtesy of a Netterville solo home run to dead center in the second, and a Chris Clayton RBI double in the third.
The Cougars got on the board in the top of the fourth after an RBI single from Jared McCunn made it a 3-1 ballgame.
That’s as close as the Cougars would get, however, as the Tech offense took control in the bottom half of the frame, striking for seven runs on six hits.
Netterville began the inning with a four-pitch walked, bringing up Mason Robinson who dropped a beautiful bunt down in front of home plate and forced a wild throw from the SIUE pitcher, Martz. Netterville advanced to third on the play, and with runners on the corners, Bailey demolished a 2-1 fastball down the right-field line for a three-run home run, pushing the Tech lead to 6-1.
With runners on the corners for Clayton, the junior backstop remained hot with another RBI base knock, scoring Skelton for a 7-1 lead. Two batters later, Tanner Huddleston dropped a single into right field scoring Mason Mallard. Netterville then jumped on a 2-1 pitch smoking an RBI double into left center, scoring Clayton and Huddleston.
When the inning was finally over, Tech owned a 10-1 lead.
Carpenter (1-0) entered the game in the fifth inning for Miller and was brilliant in three innings of two-hit scoreless baseball. The senior struck out five and walked none, allowing just two base runners in his time on the mound.
Propst and Griffen combined for two scoreless innings, closing out the victory.
Tech will welcome SIUE back to the diamond tomorrow afternoon at 12 p.m. CT in game two of the three-game set. Logan Robbins is set to get the start for the ‘Dogs, while Ryan Byrd will go for the Cougars.
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