March 7, 2014
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Louisiana Tech hitters were held to just four hits and three runs by an impressive Texas A&M pitching staff in a 5-3 loss to the No. 25 ranked Aggies Friday night at Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
LA Tech (4-9) began the night's scoring with a 1-0 lead in the second, but it was short-lived as the Bulldogs found themselves coming from behind on multiple occasions, eventually falling short in the loss to Texas A&M (10-4) on the road.
"I thought the pitchers did exceptionally well tonight," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "I told our guys to stand tall after tonight. That was a hard-fought game and we saw some quality arms. I thought our guys defended well and it was just a good baseball game tonight. You have to give their pitchers credit."
Junior Daniel Mengden (2-2) earned the win for Texas A&M in an impressive outing where he struck out eight Bulldog hitters and allowed two runs - one earned - on two hits in seven innings of work. Andrew Vinson came on in the eighth to face four batters before Jason Jester (1) pitched the final 1.1 innings to earn his first save of the season.
Sophomore right hander Adam Derouen (0-1) started for the Bulldogs and was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits in four innings of work. Jared Keating pitched three innings in relief, allowing one run off one hit. Braden Bristo and Laetten Galbraith closed out the game for Tech in the eighth.
The Bulldogs started things off early on in the second after Tyler Qualls drew a one-out walk and reached second on a fielder's choice by Taylor Nichols. Thomas Simoneaux then had a sac bunt that Aggie third baseman Logan Nottebrok threw away to allow Qualls to score for a 1-0 LA Tech lead.
Tech's lead, however, did not last long as Nottebrok led off the bottom of the second with a no-doubt solo home run over the left field wall to knot the game at 1-1.
Texas A&M's lead-off batter then manufactured a run after drawing a walk, stealing second, advancing to third on a ground ball and then reaching home on a balk by Derouen to give the Aggies a 2-1 lead after three innings of play.
The Aggies kept it going in the fourth after Troy Stein, who led off the inning with a double, scored on an RBI single by Patrick McLendon to make it a 3-1 Texas A&M lead. LA Tech then responded once again in the fifth when Ryan Jones reached on an infield single and eventually scored on an RBI ground ball by Colby Johnson to cut Texas A&M's lead to 3-2.
Texas A&M would add a run in the seventh, but Louisiana Tech once again responded in the top half of the eighth when Tyler Ervine led off the inning with a solo home run to deep left-center field to make it 4-3 Aggies. An insurance run in the eighth on a fielder's choice ground ball made it 5-3 in favor of Texas A&M after eight innings of play.
Although the Bulldogs threatened in the top half of the ninth, Jester settled down after two straight walks to get consecutive fly balls to clinch the win for the Aggies.
Aggie pitchers held LA Tech hitters to just a total of four hits on the night with Ervine leading the way with a 1-for-5 effort with a home run, RBI and run scored. Johnson was also 1-for-5 on the night with a triple and an RBI, while Qualls and Jones each had a hit in the game. Bre'shon Kimbell reached base twice on walks, along with Qualls.
J.B. Moss, Hunter Melton and Stein each had two hits apiece for the Aggies as Texas A&M hitters combined for a total of 10 base knocks.
The series resumes at 1:05 p.m. Saturday with junior Phil Maton set to start for the Bulldogs against the Aggies' Parker Ray.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechBSB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.