March 8, 2013
RUSTON, La. - Phil Maton struck out eight and the Bulldog pitching staff posted a complete game shutout as Louisiana Tech took the first game of the series versus Nebraska, 5-0, Friday night at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston.
LA Tech (4-10) exploded for four runs in the third inning after Taylor Terrasas ripped a three-RBI double down the left field line with the bases loaded to put the Bulldogs ahead 4-0 over Nebraska (4-8). Tech added the first run of the inning when starter Ryan Hander walked Ryan Gebhardt with the bases loaded to give the Bulldogs the lead.
"Phil (Maton) is a warrior, and he is going to give us a good outing and 100 percent every time he is out there," head coach Wade Simoneaux. "(Taylor) Terrasas did what we have been needing all year. We have been hitting balls right at people and not getting the job done, and a senior stepped up. That was huge for this team and that was a big hit for us."
Maton (3-0) earned his third win of the season after allowing four hits and no runs in seven complete innings of work. The sophomore right hander struck out eight batters to bring his season total to 31 strikeouts. Maton has now pitched 24 consecutive innings this season without giving up a run, a streak that dates back to his first start of 2013 at UT Arlington. Jamie Gilley came on in relief in the eighth to strike out three Cornhusker batters and allow just one hit in two innings pitched.
Hander (0-2) was charged with the loss after allowing five runs - all earned - on seven hits and walking two batters. Hander settled down after a rocky third inning to strike out six Bulldog hitters in the loss.
Leading 4-0 in the fourth, Tech added a run off an RBI single to center field by Taylor Burch, who led the Bulldogs with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate with an RBI and run scored.
Left fielder Chad Christensen led the Cornhuskers with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate on the night.
The win over Nebraska marks the first time the Bulldogs have won consecutive games against the Huskers since 1973 when Tech took two from the visitors. Tech won the fourth game of last season's series, 6-5, in the latest meeting.
The series against the Cornhuskers continues tomorrow in a double header beginning at 1 p.m. at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston.
Saturday will mark Alumni Day as Simoneaux and the 2013 team will welcome back former players and all Tech alumni for the doubleheader with Nebraska. Central Federal Credit Union will also donate $5 to the Boys and Girls Club of Ruston for every run the Bulldogs score in the first game at 1 p.m. tomorrow.