April 2, 2014
RUSTON, La. - For the first time since the 2011 season, Louisiana Tech fell to the Demons of Northwestern State, 2-1, on the diamond in a low-scoring affair Wednesday night at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
Louisiana Tech (9-18) took an early 1-0 lead in the third, but Northwestern State (16-12) scored one run in both the fifth and sixth innings to take a one-run lead. The Bulldogs out-hit the Demons 11 to six, but left nine runners on the base paths over the course of nine innings.
"I think in three of our last four games, we have had double-digit hits and could not win, but hits are not important and runs are," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "We had our opportunities and we just could not get it done tonight. We had two plays where we mishandled the ball to let them score two runs, and it cost us a win."
Joey Parrack (1-0) came on in relief in the fifth inning as the third pitcher of the game for Northwestern State, earning the win after giving up just one hit in two full innings on the mound. Parrack struck out three of the eight batters he faced. Evan Tidwell gave up the only run of the game for the Demons' pitching staff, after coming on in the second inning in relief of starter Cameron Brewer. Tidwell gave up one unearned run and four hits in three innings on the mound. The Demons sent a total of five pitchers to the mound, with Steven Spann (2) pitching the ninth and earned his second save of the season.
Mark Baughman (0-2) came on in relief in the fifth inning and was charged with the loss after allowing the second run of the game for the Demons in an inning on the mound. Baughman gave up two hits in the six batters he faced. Austin Greer started for the Bulldogs and pitched a career-high 4.1 innings, while holding Northwestern State to one run on three hits with two strikeouts. LA Tech sent a total of six pitchers to the mound Wednesday with Braden Bristo, Eric Dunbar, Phil Maton and Laetten Galbraith combining to shut down the Demons for the final four innings, allowing just one hit in the ninth.
In the bottom half of the third, Taylor Burch led off the inning with a double down the left field line, and then advanced to third on a passed ball before scoring on a sacrifice fly ball to right field by Taylor Love.
Northwestern State tied things up in the top of the fifth after scoring an unearned run on an error by the Bulldogs' middle infield. The Demons then took a 2-1 lead the next inning when Caleb Dugas and Cort Brinson led off the sixth with base hits before Chase Daughdrill earned an RBI after a ground ball scored Dugas.
Tyler Ervine, Colby Johnson and Tyler Qualls each had two base hits in four at bats on the night for the Bulldogs, while Love extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 1-for-2 effort and an RBI. Love has also reached base in 25 straight games after tonight's contest. Ryan Jones, Jordan Taylor, Stephen Gandy and Burch each had one hit apiece in the loss.
Brinson led the Demons with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate in addition to a walk, while Daughdrill had the lone RBI for Northwestern State on the night on a ground out in the sixth. Dugas, Bret Underwood, Regan Kaufman and Garrett Logan all tallied hits for the Demons.
The Bulldogs remain home this weekend as they play hosts to Conference USA foe UAB in a three-game series beginning at 6 p.m. Friday at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechBSB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.