Bulldogs Stake 4-1 Victory over SIUE
Feb. 24, 2018
RUSTON, La. – The Louisiana Tech baseball team notched its fourth-consecutive victory, and took the second of three meetings against SIU-Edwardsville by a 4-1 final Saturday afternoon at J.C. Love Field.
Tech (5-2) used another solid start from junior Logan Robbins who went 5.2 innings, giving up just five hits and striking out six. The Jones County Junior College transfer struck out at least one batter in each of his first four innings of work, and improved to 2-0 on the young season.
In 11.0 innings pitched this season, Robbins has yet to issue a walk and has struck out nine en route to a 0.82 ERA.
On the offensive side, Tech used a big fourth-run inning to give Robbins and the Tech pen some breathing room. In the bottom of the inning, shortstop Dalton Skelton got the scoring going with a bang. The 5’-9” senior pulled a two-run home run (his first of the season) deep to left, putting Tech on top 2-0.
In the first two games of this series, Skelton is 5-for-9 with four runs scored, a triple and a home run.
Shortly thereafter, Mason Mallard singled and advanced into scoring position after an errant throw by the SIUE shortstop. Junior catcher Chris Clayton came to the plate as the hottest hitter of either team this series, and delivered with a big RBI triple into the right-field corner.
With a 3-0 edge and a man on third, freshman Steele Netterville grounded out to second, scoring Clayton and pushing the lead to 4-0.
SIUE looked as if it would build its first offensive threat of the afternoon after three consecutive singles loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fifth. However, after a mound visit from first-year pitching coach Cory Barton, Robbins dug deep and dialed up a tailor-made double play ball, that Hunter Wells turned easily at second, ending the inning.
After nothing doing for the Tech bats in the sixth, SIUE mounted another threat as Robbins plunked a batter and gave up a single with two ends, ending his day. Sophomore right-hander Tyler Follis stepped in and induced a weak pop out to third, leaving Robbins with a clean ledger.
Follis pitched effectively in both the seventh and eighth innings and allowed no baserunners during that time. He struck out three of his seven batters faced and threw 41 pitches. – 28 of which went for strikes.
Senior Graham Ahlrich relieved Follis in the ninth and allowed one run on two hits, but closed the door on any chance of a Cougar comeback attempt.
With just the one run allowed, the Tech pitching staff lowered its team ERA to 1.14 (began the day at 1.19 – the seventh-best mark in the nation). Across 63.1 innings pitched this season, Tech pitchers have allowed just eight earned runs.
Mallard went 2-for-3 and extended his on-base streak to seven-straight games to begin the season, while Skelton (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI), Wells (2-for-4) and Huddleston (2-for-3) all notched multiple-hit efforts.
SIUE’s starter Ryan Byrd (0-1) made it through five innings, but gave up eight hits and four runs (three earned) while striking out two.
The Cougar offense was led by Brock Weimer who went 2-for-4 and scored the only SIUE run of the ballgame.
The Bulldogs and Cougars will wrap up their three-game set tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. Junior Logan Bailey (1-0, 3.60 ERA) is set to pitch for the ‘Dogs, while R-Sophomore Kenny Serwa is slated for SIUE.
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