Minnesota Stifles Bulldog Bats, Take Series 2-1
March 2, 2014
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech batters managed just four base hits and only five baserunners in the game as Minnesota won the third game of the weekend and the series with a 6-1 victory Sunday afternoon at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
Minnesota (6-3) scored two runs in the second and added more later as the Golden Gophers' starter Ben Meyer shut down LA Tech (3-7) at the plate, while not allowing a Bulldog player to reach base in six of the seven innings he pitched.
Meyer (1-1) earned the win for Minnesota after allowing just one run off two hits in 7.0 innings of work. He struck out four batters and walked one. It was the longest outing of the year for any starting pitcher on the Golden Gophers' staff. Lance Thonvold (1) came on in the eighth in a 2-run game and pitched the final two innings to earn the save for Minnesota. Thonvold did not allow a run and gave up two hits, while striking out one.
Jared Keating (0-2) started for LA Tech and was charged with the loss after pitching 1.1 innings and giving up two runs - one earned - on three hits with one strikeout and one walk. He faced nine Gopher batters before being replaced in the second inning by Braden Bristo. Bristo gave up a run on two hits in 2.1 innings, while Eric Dunbar followed up with 2.2 innings of relief work and gave up three hits. March Baughman came on in the seventh and did not allow a hit or a run in 1.1 innings. Laetten Galbraith pitched the final 1.1 innings for Tech, giving up three runs on two hits with two strikeouts.
"I thought our pitching and defense was much improved as a whole this weekend versus Minnesota," head coach Wade Simoneaux. "We just have to learn how to hit with runners in scoring position. That is our downfall, but as far as pitching and defense, it was much better the whole weekend."
The Gophers took advantage of a Bulldog error and walk in the second inning when left fielder Tony Skjefte roped a two-RBI double down the left field line for an early 2-0 lead for Minnesota. An additional run in the third off an RBI single by Mark Tatera gave Minnesota a 3-0 lead, but the Bulldogs responded with one of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
Taylor Nichols led off the third with an infield single on a slow roller to the shortstop, followed by a double to left field by Thomas Simoneaux to give Tech runners on second and third with one out. Colby Johnson then hit a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Nichols and get the Bulldogs on the board for the first and last run of the day for Tech.
In the ninth, Minnesota added to its lead with three runs in the inning on RBI base hits by Jordan Smith and Dan Olinger and a sacrifice fly by Chris Schaaf.
For the Bulldogs, Thomas Simoneaux led at the plate with a 2-for-3 day with a double, while Johnson knocked in the only run of the day for LA Tech with a sacrifice fly. Taylor Love and Nichols each had one hit for a total of four base knocks for the Bulldogs on the day.
The Bulldogs continue at home at 6 p.m. Tuesday as they play hosts to in-state foe McNeese State in a two-day midweek series with the Cowboys at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park. The second game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday between LA Tech and McNeese.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechBSB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.
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