March 7, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Freshman Phil Maton struck out a career-high 11 hitters in 6.2 innings as the Bulldogs (9-6) defeated the Cardinals, 8-1, Wednesday evening at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
Maton (3-0) picked up his third win of the season as he struck out 11 Cardinal hitters and only gave up one run on two hits. Carter Hahn (0-1) was credited with the loss for the Cardinals (4-7) in the start after allowing five runs - four earned - on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched.
"When we get starts like that, it makes everybody else's job easier," said head coach Wade Simoneaux. "Maton is a competitor and was in full control tonight."
Maton has recorded a Western Athletic Conference-leading 30 strikeouts in 25.2 innings this season. Jamie Gilley and Jeb Stefan pitched a scoreless 0.1 innings and 1.0 inning, respectively, as both pitchers made their first appearances out of the bullpen this season. The Chatham, Ill. native became the first Bulldog pitcher to record more than 10 strikeouts in a game this season.
The Bulldogs were sparked offensively by Alex Williams who was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Williams continued to pound the ball as he leads the WAC and is second in the nation with 28 hits while ranking first in the league and fifth in the country with 24 RBI.
Taylor Burch was 1-for-4, recording his fourth double of the season and his third in two games. Justin Gordey scored two runs for Tech and was 1-for-4 from the plate while reaching base on one of Lamar's three errors in the game.
Kyle Arnsberg added a run in the second, scoring from third as Burch hit into a double play.
In the fourth inning, Kimbell singled up the middle to lead off and an Austin Hedges walk moved him to second. Arnsberg's sacrifice bunt put both runners in scoring position, allowing Kimbell to score on a Hahn balk. Hedges would score during the next at bat as he stole home to give the Bulldogs a 5-0 lead. That marked the first time a Bulldog has stolen home since Mark Threlkeld swiped the plate on March 4, 2011 against Middle Tennessee.
Lamar scored one run in the sixth on a home run by Darian Johnson. That would be the only run the Cardinals would score in the game as Maton, Gilley, Stefan and Caleb Dudley combined to allow one run on three hits.
The Bulldogs scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth as Kody Neel was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a Burch double. Beau Bayliss reached on a fielder's choice to short as Lamar's David Harris threw home in an attempt to prevent Neel from scoring. The throw, however, was in the dirt and Neel knocked the ball out of the catcher's glove and towards the backstop in a sliding collision, allowing Burch to score as well.
Dudley pitched a scoreless ninth as the Bulldogs retired 11 of Lamar's final 13 batters. The Tech pitching staff combined for 13 strikeouts in the game in all.
The Bulldogs have a week off before returning to action against Creighton at Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., home of the NCAA College World Series. First pitch against the Blue Jays is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 14.
Dave Nitz, the "Voice of the Bulldogs," will call the action on the LA Tech Sports Network beginning at 5:30 p.m. with the pregame show. Live audio will also be available on LA Tech All-Access at LATechSports.com.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechKQueliz on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.