Feb. 28, 2010
RUSTON--Mike Jefferson (1-0) pitched six and a third scoreless innings and both Devon Dageford and Alex Williams added three RBI a-piece to help lead Louisiana Tech (5-2) to an 8-5 win over McNeese State (4-3) Sunday afternoon at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
Jefferson pitched six and a third solid innings and picked up his first win of the season. He struck out seven batters while giving up just three hits and allowing only one run.
"Mike (Jefferson) was outstanding today vs. a good hitting team in McNeese," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "Usually on Sundays the hitters take over, but Mike held them down and gave us a chance to win. At the end of the game we held on by kind of piecing it together with a few different relievers because we're waiting on some guys in our bullpen to get healthy."
Louisiana Tech got on the board first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. After Mark Threlkeld reached on an error by the first baseman, Devon Dageford stepped in with two outs and crushed a line-drive homerun over the centerfield fence to make it 2-0 Tech. The homerun was Dageford's second of the season and the series.
With Tech pitcher Jefferson cruising through five scoreless innings, the Tech offense would get on the board again with a four-run bottom of the fifth. Freshman second baseman Taylor Terrasas began the inning with a walk and moved to second on a Kyle Roliard bunt. The Cowboy's pitcher fielded the bunt and attempted to throw Terrasas out at second but was unsuccessful putting runners on first and second. Threlkeld would then bring in Terrasas from second with a single into leftfield.
"We did a good job of moving runners into scoring position and then scoring runners from third today," Simoneaux said. "Dageford had two big hits for us and Alex (Williams) hit a big three-run homerun in the fifth inning."
With one out in the top of the seventh inning and McNeese's Lee Orr on first, Jefferson was relieved on the mound by Will Alvis. The usual designated hitter for Tech recorded the second out of the inning before the Cowboy's bats began to heat up. Orr stole second for McNeese before being driven in by a Bryn Thompson single up the middle. The run was charged to Jefferson who walked Orr to begin the inning.
Back-to-back singles by Jordan Venable and Andy Riche then scored Thompson chasing Alvis out of the game. Left fielder Kyle Roliard came into pitch for Alvis and Justin Gordey took Roliard's spot in left. Roliard struck out Blake Ellender to close the door and end the inning with Tech still in front 6-2.
Tech put some more space between them and the Cowboys in the bottom of the seventh when Dageford connected with a double off the bottom of the right-centerfield wall to score Threlkeld from first who reached with a single. The RBI by Dageford gave hime three for the day and pushed the Tech lead to 7-2. The double by Dageford in addition to his homerun and a single, left him just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle on the day.
After trimming the Tech lead to 7-4 in the top of the eighth, the Bulldogs answered with a run in the bottom of the eighth, making the score 8-4 going into the final inning.
Casey Jones came in to close the game for Tech and the Cowboys did not make it easy for him as they began to rally after a one out double by Ellender. Steve Irvine then moved Ellender to third with a fly ball to left-centerfield before Jace Petersen drove him in to cut the Tech lead to 8-5. Orr then singled behind Peterson advancing him to third with two outs. However, McNeese's Seth Granger grounded out to Williams to end the game giving Tech the 8-5 win in the game and the 2-1 series win.
"I think the guys passed our first tough test of the season," said Simoneaux. "McNeese is a good team and is going to be right there in the hunt at the top of the Southland Conference. We passed the first of a number of tough tests this year, but I think we still have a long way to go."
Tech will now get ready to begin a very tough ten game road stint in which the Bulldogs will first travel to Waco, Texas to take on Baylor on Wednesday. Tech will then play a three game series with UT-Pan American over the weekend before coming back to play Baylor on Tuesday March 9. After a few days off LA Tech will then travel to face New Mexico in a four game series beginning on March 12 and will end the road stint on March 17 at Central Arkansas.
Tech fans are reminded that single game tickets are now available through TicketMaster and the Tech Ticket Office along with a number of premium chair-backs still available which can be hand-picked by fans for $130 online at www.latechsports.com, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling the Tech Ticket Office at 318-257-3631.