Bulldogs Pull Out a 10-9 Win in the 11th Inning
March 17, 2009
RUSTON -- Patrick Thomas' sacrifice fly in the 11th inning sealed a 10-9 victory for Louisiana Tech (10-5) over UALR (7-10, 3-3 SBC) Tuesday evening at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
"A win is a win," Tech head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "It was not pretty, but we found a way to win. We had some big hits down the stretch. Alex Williams went 3-for-4 on the night. Patrick Thomas had a few big hits and hit the sacrifice fly to win it for us.
"UALR pitched well. They played hard and played with emotion in a mid-week game. We can learn from them by remembering how hard they fought tonight. We still have a long way to go. Some of our younger pitchers need to continue to work on their second and third pitches for us to be successful."
After a scoreless 10th inning, UALR designated hitter Tim Emmons started the 11th frame with a single. After a sacrifice bunt and a ground out, Emmons stood at third base with third baseman Anthony Gower at the plate. Gower put the ball in play and reached base on an error, however the mistake was costly for the Bulldogs as Emmons crossed the plate on the play to give UALR a one-run lead.
Jonathan Mire started the 11th inning for Tech by sacrificing his body as a result of a hit by pitch. Pinch hitter Ashton Hughes moved Mire over to third on a single to right field. Matt Combs, Tech's second pinch hitter of the inning, was hit by another Trojan pitch. With the bases loaded and only one out, the Bulldogs had Clint Stubbs and then the top of their batting order coming up.
Stubbs tied the game for Tech on an RBI walk to bring in Mire. Thomas put a stamp on the game and a Bulldog win by hitting a fly ball to center field to score Hughes.
"Matt is one of our leading hit by pitch players every year," Simoneaux said. "He knows how important it is to get people on base. His decision to stand in the box and allow himself to get hit was big."
Kyle Roliard picked up the victory and is now 2-0 on the season. He pitched the final two innings, allowed two hits and one run (it was unearned), while striking out one batter.
The Bulldogs were ahead 8-5 going into the ninth inning, but the Trojans scored three runs on a fielder's choice, single and a wild pitch.
Casey Jones started the game for Tech and exited with a 7-4 lead. He threw 5.0 innings, gave up seven hits, four runs (four earned), walked two and struck out five.
Mike Jefferson relieved Jones in the sixth and threw two scoreless innings.
"I thought Casey had a quality start," Simoneaux said. "I thought Mike also threw well."
Jeb Stefan came in for Jefferson in the eighth inning. After shortstop Zach Rowles drew an RBI walk to minimize Tech's lead to 7-5, leadoff hitter Eric Hanlon smashed a ground ball to second baseman Kevin Winn. The native of Bowling Green, Ky. made a diving stop to end the inning and prevent two Trojans from scoring.
UALR's second batter of the game, right fielder Matt Apfel put the Trojans ahead 1-0 on a solo home run to center field in the first inning.
After Jones retired the side in the first, Nick Grunenwald, the Bulldogs' second hitter in their lineup, followed Apfel's footsteps around the bases after he launched his second home run of the year to center field to even up the score, 1-1.
Williams led the Bulldogs with three hits, while Thomas led the team with 3 RBI.
Both teams had 14 hits on the evening, however the Bulldogs' committed one less error, 3-2.
Tech is now 2-0 in extra inning games this season.
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