March 4, 2011
Ruston, La. - Will Alvis hit a second-inning grand slam and a solo shot in the eighth in part of a 4-of-5 performance at the plate to power the Bulldogs past Middle Tennessee, 12-9, Friday night at J.C. Love Field. Alvis finished the night with a career-high four hits, two home runs, five RBI and 10 total bases.
With the win, Tech extends the nation's fifth-longest home winning streak to 11 games.
Trevor Petersen (2-0) allowed four runs on nine hits while striking out three and walking two in 5.1 innings of work to pick up the win.
Tech got on the board in the first inning after a double steal with two outs scored Mark Threlkeld from third base. The Blue Raiders would answer in the top of the second as Hank LaRue hit his first career home run to right center to even the game.
With the game knotted at one apiece, Middle Tennessee (1-8) starter Hunter Adkins retired the first two Bulldogs before allowing the next three to reach base, loading the bases for Alvis. On a 2-1 pitch and the wind gusting in from centerfield, Alvis ripped a fastball to deep left center for a grand slam that put Tech up 5-1. The grand slam was the first for a Bulldog since Alvis accomplished the same feat against Sacramento State last May.
Petersen retired the first two Blue Raiders in the third inning but allowed three consecutive singles that cut the deficit to just three runs. However, the righty capitalized on a groundout to second to strand two runners on base and limit any further damage.
Following back-to-back singles from Kyle Roliard and Alvis to lead off the fifth inning for Tech, Threlkeld doubled down the right field line and advanced to third on a throwing error to score both Roliard and Alvis. Alex Williams followed the double up with a base knock to right and Joey Ford drove him in for the fifth-consecutive hit in the inning, The Bulldogs batted around on six hits in the inning and added two more runs to extend their lead to eight runs.
Adkins (0-3) took the loss after allowing 10 runs on 10 hits and five walks in just 4.1 innings of work.
Trailing 10-2, the Middle Tennessee offense responded in the sixth inning to rough up Petersen and Dan Breazeale for four runs and added three more runs in the top of eighth off of Mike LeBreton and Caleb Dudley to cut the deficit to just one run.
However, Alvis responded in the bottom half of the inning and belted a two-out pitch to left field for his second home run of the evening, giving the Bulldogs a two-run cushion. Ford singled to left field, scoring Threlkeld to give the Bulldogs a 12-9 lead heading into the ninth inning.
Dudley tossed the final two innings for Tech and retired the Blue Raiders in order in the ninth inning, striking out two, to close out the game.
Louisiana Tech (7-2) returns to action tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. CST as Mike Jefferson will get the start for the Bulldogs.
Notes: With the win, Tech improves to 2-2 all-time against Middle Tennessee... Tech has now won 11-straight games at J.C. Love Field, the longest streak since the Bulldogs won 20 games stretching from the 1992-93 seasons... Tech improves to 3-0 when the offense records a big inning (four-plus runs)...Joey Ford and Alex Williams have hit safely in all nine games this season... Ford has recorded seven multiple hit games this season... Tech's five consecutive base hits in the fifth inning marks the first time that has happened since the first inning against Nevada on May 21, 2010... Will Alvis' grand slam was the first for a Bulldog since Alvis hit one last season against Sacramento State (5/8).... Alvis becomes the first Bulldogs to hit two home runs in a game since Mark Threlkeld did so against Central Arkansas on May 18, 2010... Alvis established a new career-high with 10 total bases and tied career marks with two home runs, five RBI and four hits... Williams tallied his WAC-leading fourth stolen base of the season... Williams only had two career stolen bases in his previous two seasons at Tech...Threlkeld becomes the first Bulldog to steal home since Clint Stubbs robbed home against Hawai'i on April 24, 2010.