March 9, 2008
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech rallied from a four-run deficit in Sunday's second game after shutting out Central Arkansas in the first game to come away with a series victory on Sunday at J.C. Love Field. Tech won the first game, 3-0, and held on to win the second, 5-4. Tech improves to 9-5 while Central Arkansas drops to 6-7 on the year.
"Our guys responded well after losing the first game of the series," Tech head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "UCA is a scrappy team that really fights hard. We had to really work hard to win that series."
Aaron Lorio (2-1) got his second win of the week for Tech, pitching 3.1 shutout innings in relief in game two while striking out two and walking one. Alex Richard was solid in relief, picking up his second save of the year with a scoreless inning of relief.
Alan Knotts got the start and struggled somewhat, giving up four runs (all earned) on six hits while walking a pair and striking out four. But he was able to keep the score manageable, leading to Tech's second-game comeback.
"I've seen our three starters pitch better than they did this weekend," Simoneaux said. "But we got a great effort from our bullpen. I'm very pleased with that."
Senior outfielder Adam Cobb extended his career-long hitting streak by two more games, combining to go 5-for-7 on the day, including a 3-for-3 performance in the first game.
Patrick Thomas continued his streak of hitting well when his brother, Drew, is in the starting lineup by smacking a pair of base hits in game two and scoring a run.
Albie Goulder was the hero in game one, accounting for all three Tech runs with a hit by pitch to score Cobb in the first, a solo home run in the third and another run scored on a fake steal attempt in the fifth inning.
But the Bears would not go quietly in game two. They jumped on the board early with a leadoff double from Kevin Rawls and a single from Chris Davis, taking an early 1-0 lead.
They would get another in the fourth thanks to a double from ex-Bulldog Jonathan Yerby, who then advanced to third after a walk and a hit batter and scored on a wild pitch from Alan Knotts to make it 2-0.
UCA would add another pair of runs in the fifth when Rawls singled, stole second and went to third on after Drew Thomas' throw went into center field. He would score on a double from Davis to make it 3-0 and end Knotts' day. A single from Scott Cline would score Davis to put the Bears ahead 4-0.
But it was rally time for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the fifth. Cobb ripped a single to start things off, setting up a pair of walks to Jones and Drew Bunting. Chris Kersten would then rip the biggest hit of the game to that point, a 2-RBI double to score Cobb and Jones, making it 4-2. After Patrick Thomas was hit by a pitch, Nick Grunenwald fought off several pitches and worked a walk to score Bunting to pull within 4-3. Kevin Winn would then fly out to center field to score Kersten from third, tying the game at 4-4.
Tech would then plate the eventual winning run in the seventh when Winn got his second RBI of the game, ripping a double to right field to score Patrick Thomas and giving Tech its first lead of the game at 5-4.
Lorio and Richard would hold off the Bears in the eighth and ninth with some help from catcher Matt Combs, who nailed a would-be base stealer in the ninth to keep the tying run from getting into scoring position and sealing the victory.
After a day off Monday, Tech will renew its rivalry with Louisiana-Lafayette (4-9) on Tuesday night at J.C. Love Field. First pitch is set for 6 p.m., and GameTracker will be available through www.latechsports.com.