March 6, 2011
Ruston, La. - Louisiana Tech relief pitchers allowed just one hit over 3.2 innings of work and Ben Carlisle picked up his first collegiate decision to win game one, but Middle Tennessee charged the Bulldogs pitching staff with nine runs on 10 hits to take the series finale in game two, as both squads split a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at J.C. Love Field.
Game One: Louisiana Tech 3, Middle Tennessee 2
Middle Tennessee (2-9) jumped out to an early two-run lead off of Tech starter Mike Jefferson, as Jordan Rorex scored on an RBI groundout in the first and Trent Miller scored on a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.
Jefferson finished the night allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out six batters.
In the bottom half of the fourth, Mark Threlkeld reached on a throwing error and Alex Williams singled through the right side before Clint Ewing was hit by the pitch with one out to load the bases. Tech got on the board as Threlkeld raced home after a wild pitch from Daniel Palo. The Bulldogs evened the game as Ryan Gebhardt drove in Williams to even the game at two runs apiece.
In relief of Jefferson, Josh Barrett got into some trouble in the seventh inning as he put two runners on with just one out and Tech made the call to the pen for Ben Carlisle. On just five pitches, the southpaw picked up a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat and leave two runners on base. Carlisle worked a flawless eighth inning picking up his second strikeout of the game and retiring the side in order on just six pitches.
With one out in the bottom eighth, Threlkeld was hit on a 2-1 pitch from Palo and moved to third after Williams singled to left center. Joey Ford executed a perfect push bunt to second base, scoring Threlkeld from third and ultimately proving to be the game-winning bunt single.
Palo (0-1) took the loss despite allowing just one unearned run and fanning seven batters in 7.1 innings of work for the Blue Raiders.
Looking for his third save of the season, Caleb Dudley entered the game in the ninth inning and retired the side in order to close out the game. Carlisle (1-0) picked up his first win in a Tech uniform as he retired all five batters that he faced on just 11 pitches.
Game Two: Middle Tennessee 9, Louisiana Tech 6
Jeb Stefan (2-1) was touched up and saddled for his first loss of the season after allowing seven runs on five hits in just 2.1 innings of work as Middle Tennessee took game two of the doubleheader and snapped Tech's 12-game home winning streak at home.
Trailing 2-1, Stefan allowed a one-out double and the hit and walked the next two batters to load the bases for Middle Tennessee in the top of the third inning. Picking up the first run of the inning on a passed ball, the Blue Raiders added to that total with an RBI single from Hank LaRue.
Needing to quite the rally, Kyle Roliard entered the game in relief of Stefan. Facing four batters, Roliard finally ended the scoring threat but not before the Blue Raiders could add five runs.
Tech would close within one run in the fifth as the first six batters reached base safely to start the inning off of Jud Stoltz. Williams capped the five-run inning with a sacrifice fly to center as Hunter Dawson struck out Ford to end the threat.
Dawson (2-1) picked up the win on 2.2 hitless innings of relief work, striking out four batters.
The Blue Raiders added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning and Paul Mittura retired the Bulldogs in order in the ninth inning to pick up his first save of the season.
Louisiana Tech (8-3) returns to action Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. CST with a road game at Grambling State.
Notes: Louisiana Tech is now 3-3 all-time against Middle Tennessee... The loss snapped a 12-game home winning streak... Alex Williams extended his hitting streak to 11 games, tying his career-long... Joey Ford's 10-game hitting streak was snapped in game two of the double header... Ben Carlisle has retired the last 12 batters that he has faced in order and has not allowed a hit in 6.0 innings of relief work this season...Mark Threlkeld has made 83 consecutive starts in a Bulldog uniform.