Feb. 24, 2008
RUSTON, La. - The hits kept on coming for Louisiana Tech on Sunday as the Bulldogs scored 17 runs on 19 hits while four pitchers combined to shut out McNeese State, 17-0, finishing off a season-opening three-game sweep.
"This was a good start for our guys," Tech coach Wade Simoneaux said. "McNeese is a really young team, and they will improve as the season goes along. They are very well-coached. It was great for our guys to get out there and build some confidence moving forward.
Louisiana Tech (3-0) outscored McNeese (0-3) 44-6 in the three-game series and outhit the Cowboys by a 43-16 margin. It marked the first time since 2001 that Tech scored 10-plus runs in its opening three games of a season, and the first season-opening sweep since 2005, also against McNeese State.
On the weekend, Tech hit eight home runs and amassed a whopping 40 RBI. The team batting average now stands at a sparkling .393.
Adam Cobb broke out in a big way with a 4-for-5 effort that included a two-run home run in the eighth innings. Not to be outdone, shortstop Nick Grunenwald, catcher Matt Combs and third baseman Chris Kersten had three hits apiece.
Junior righthander Dylan Moseley (1-0) got the victory, pitching a predetermined four shutout innings, allowing only two hits while striking out three. Landon Braud pitched three solid innings of relief as he gave up only two hits with two strikeouts. John Anderson, a sophomore juco transfer, pitched one scoreless inning with two strikeouts, and Alex Richard made his first pitching appearance of the season with a scoreless ninth.
After a scoreless first, Tech played small-ball in the second inning to the tune of four runs. It wasn't all small-ball as Patrick Thomas got things going with a 2-RBI double to score Kersten and Albie Goulder, giving Tech a 2-0 lead. The Bulldogs would then show off their versatility with three consecutive bunt singles from Grunenwald, Combs and Cobb, including a safety squeeze from Combs that scored Thomas from third. A Kevin Winn sacrifice fly to center would score Grunenwald to give Tech a 4-0 lead.
Winn would follow that up with a two-out solo home run in the fourth inning to put Tech up 5-0. And that would be a sign of things to come.
With two outs in the fifth inning, the Bulldogs really put the game out of reach with a seven-run explosion. It began with a Grunenwald single to score Goulder from second, making it 6-0. Grunenwald then stole second, leading to an RBI single from Combs to make it 7-0. In what looked like an instant replay, Combs then stole second to bring up Cobb, who ripped an RBI single to send Combs across the plate. A Winn walk brought up Drew Bunting, who ripped a double down the right field line to score both Cobb and Winn, increasing the lead to 10-0.
To that point, Jericho Jones was the only Bulldog starter without a hit. That changed in a hurry as the junior put a Matt Click offering over the 380-foot mark in left center to bring home two more runs and make it 12-0.
The Bulldogs would add five more for good measure in the eighth on a Kersten double to score Stubbs from second, a Grunenwald double that scored Kersten and Jonathan Mire, and a two-run dinger from Adam Cobb to make it 17-0.
It will be a quick turnaround for the `Dawgs as Texas-Arlington comes to J.C. Love Field on Tuesday for a 2 p.m. doubleheader. Senior Alan Knotts (2 IP, 0 R, 2 K) and sophomore Jamey Bradshaw (1-0, 3.00, 6 K) will likely get the starting nods for Tech.
There will be no radio broadcast, but live stats will be available at www.latechsports.com.
CORRECTION: Yesterday's box score and game story erroneously omitted senior closer Aaron Lorio, who pitched a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout. The error has been corrected, and the change is reflected in both the game box score and in the season stats.
DIRECT FROM THE DAWGS' DUGOUT: Fans can interact with coach Wade Simoneaux on Monday night as "Direct From the Dawgs' Dugout" returns for a third season. The Bulldog skipper will join Sean Fox and Nick White at Ponchatoula's in downtown Ruston from 6-7 p.m. to talk Bulldog baseball. The show can be heard on ESPN 97.7 FM or online at www.espn977.com.