Feb. 27, 2011
LAKE CHARLES, La. - Freshman Tyler Qualls drove in Mark Threlkeld with an RBI single through the left side in the top of the 11th inning and Dan Breazeale picked up the win after throwing 1.2 perfect innings in relief as Louisiana Tech had a season-high 17 hits and knocked off McNeese State, 7-6, Saturday night at Cowboy Diamond. Threlkeld was 5-of-6 at the plate with three RBI and was just a triple shy of the cycle.
The Bulldogs struck first in the top of the third inning as Threlkeld picked up his first of five consecutive hits with an RBI single through the left side that scored Ryan Gebhardt. Will Alvis added to the lead in the fourth inning was a one-out RBI double to center field that scored Colby Johnson.
McNeese starter Matt Click had four strikeouts and allowed two earned runs on six hits and two walks through 6.0 innings of work.
With a no-hit bid intact and facing the minimum through 5.2 innings, Tech starting pitcher Mike Jefferson walked two Cowboy hitters with two outs bringing Jace Peterson to the plate for McNeese. With a 3-2 count, the lefty hit a two-run double to the gap in right center to even the game at two runs apiece. Lee Orr put the Cowboys on top as he drove in Peterson with a double to center.
Jefferson finished the night fanning seven batters and allowing three runs on two hits in 6.0 innings of work.
In relief of Click, Phil Parcell gave up a leadoff single to Kyle Roliard to start the seventh inning for Tech. After retiring Roliard at third on a fielder's choice, Threlkeld blasted his third home run of the season to left center to give the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead.
Tech added a run in the eighth inning on a first-pitch solo shot from Clint Ewing. With one out, Tech loaded the bases but was unable to manufacture a run as Taylor Terrasas flied out to right and Colby Johnson was gunned down at the plate for the third out of the inning.
Looking to silence the Cowboys, Josh Barrett forced a fly out to center for the first out in the eighth. After a base hit to left from Peterson, Orr struck out swinging for the second out of the frame. After Seth Granger drew a two-out walk, Taylor Drake drove both Granger and Peterson in on a two-run double that evened the game.
Needing to stifle the rally, Alvis entered the game from right field looking to halt the damage. However, pinch hitter Renny Weber singled through the ride side, scoring drake, which put the Cowboys up 6-5 heading into the ninth inning.
Needing a run to force extra-innings, Threlkeld picked up his second double of the evening to start the ninth. After a strikeout, Joey Ford beat out an infield single and advanced to second on the throwing error from the shortstop, which scored Threlkeld and forced extra innings for the second time in less than a week.
McNeese State (3-4) started off the bottom of the 10th inning with a base hit and moved the runner into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Looking to change things up, Tech head coach Wade Simoneaux called upon Dan Breazeale from the pen to get the final two outs of the inning. After striking out Shea Daly, Breazeale got out of the inning, stranding the winning run in scoring position, after inducing a groundout to second.
In similar fashion with ninth inning, Threlkeld led off the 11th with his third double of the evening and moved to third on a one-out single to right from Ford. In his first at-bat on the evening, Tyler Qualls singled through the left side off of McNeese closer Jordan Legros, scoring Threlkeld in what proved to be the game-winning hit.
Breazeale (1-0) retired the side in order in the bottom of the 11th inning and caught Peterson looking to close out the game. The win for Breazeale was just the second of his career and the first since he tossed 3.1 innings in relief against Hawai'i on April 25, 2010. Legros took the loss after allowing two runs on six hits in 3.0 innings of work.
Louisiana Tech (5-1) will face the Cowboys tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. in the rubber match of the series. Jeb Stefan will get the nod on the mound in a predetermined start.