April 3, 2011
RUSTON, La. - Mike Jefferson and Caleb Dudley combined to strike out 14 batters and allowed just four hits while the offense pounded out six runs as Louisiana Tech shutout LSU-Shreveport, 6-0, Sunday afternoon at J.C. Love Field.
"I thought both of our pitchers did a good job throwing their off-speed pitches for strikes," said Louisiana Tech head coach Wade Simoneaux. "Our confidence is getting there but we're not executing on offense like I want. There are a lot of things that we tried to do today that we failed at and we've got to execute better on offense. It was good to see our pitchers work the zone and to see sound defense by the team."
Jefferson (2-1) allowed two hits in the first inning but caught Shawn Moy looking to strand two runners on base. The southpaw then allowed a two-out single in the second inning before shutting down the Pilot offense over his last 3.1 innings of work. The southpaw tied his season-high with seven strikeouts on the outing.
"They are a really good hitting team. The main focus today was to work the ball down in the zone and work the changeup well," said Jefferson. "We just need to continue to execute offensively and continue to pitch well on the mound."
Louisiana Tech (15-12) capitalized on two defensive blunders by the Pilots in the bottom of the second inning to get on the scoreboard.
Alex Williams reached on a fielding error by the shortstop then stole second to lead off the inning. Clint Ewing moved Williams over to third with an infield single. With one out, Austin Hedges hit a routine fly ball to center that was mishandled by Chase Wentz that allowed Williams to score. Hedges was given credit for the sacrifice.
With one out, Justin Gordey tallied an RBI-groundout to short that gave the Bulldogs a two-run lead after two innings.
Williams belted a double down the right field line to lead off the fourth and moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt from Joey Ford. With one out, Ewing was hit by a pitch from Jared Mortisen that put runners on the corners for the Bulldogs. Looking to manufacture a run, Tech utilized a delayed double steal attempt that scored Williams from third.
Gebhardt then recorded a two-out liner through the right side that scored Hedges and a throwing error by the center fielder plated Gordey to give the Bulldogs a five-run lead.
Tech added a run in the fifth as Williams' second hit of the afternoon scored White.
Mortisen (5-1) was charged with his first loss of the season after giving up six runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work.
In his 12th relief appearance of the season, Dudley worked the final four frames allowing just one hit to the leadoff batter in the sixth before holding the Pilots hitless and striking out a career-high seven batters to pick up his fifth save of the season.
The five saves from Dudley this season moves him into a tie for seventh place on the all-time single-season list at Tech.
"(LSU-Shreveport) handled us pretty good last year. This year we came out with a little bit of a chip on our shoulders and we knew that we needed to go into conference next weekend with a few wins," said Dudley. "We're starting to get our confidence back as our offense is starting to come around and our pitching staff is starting to locate a bit better."
The Bulldogs return to action Tuesday night at 6 p.m. as Tech plays host to the Demons of Northwestern State.
Notes: Louisiana Tech is now 9-1 all-time against LSUS... The shutout was the second of the season for the Bulldogs...Tech has won 18 of their last 20 games at J.C. Love Field... Tech is 12-0 this season when leading after eight innings... The 14 strikeouts by the Bulldogs pitching staff marked a season-high... The seven strikeouts from Jefferson was a season-high... The seven strikeouts from Dudley was a career-high, besting his previous mark of five which he recorded on three prior occasions... The five saves from Dudley this season moves him into a tie for seventh place on the all-time single-season list at Tech...Alex Williams notched his 10th multi-hit game of the season... Clint Ewing's two hits gave him his sixth multi-hit outing of the year... Ewing was hit by his sixth pitch of the season giving him a total of 21 in his career which is now ties him with Mitch Mcllwain for 10th all-time in program history... Ewing (7) and Roliard (8) extended hitting streaks while Joey Ford saw his seven game streak come to an end... Mark Threlkeld has made 98 consecutive starts.