April 5, 2008
RUSTON, La. - Despite out-hitting Sacramento State for the first time in the series, Louisiana Tech could not get the big hits when it counted and dropped its third straight game, 6-4, to the Hornets at J.C. Love Field on Sunday. It marks the first time this season that a road team has swept a conference series in the WAC.
Tech (15-14, 2-8 WAC) now finds itself in a deep hole in conference play with an eight-game road trip to the West Coast ahead. Sacramento State (13-15, 8-3 WAC) has now won seven conference games in a row and will likely find itself in first place when the weekend is over.
Dylan Moseley (1-3) was charged with his third loss of the season, giving up five runs (four earned) on nine hits while striking out four. Luke Burnett had his best outing of the season in relief, surrendering only one unearned run on two hits while striking out three. Mike LeBreton, Alan Knotts and Aaron Lorio combined to shut down the Hornet offense throughout the final 1.2 innings.
The Bulldog offense finally hit its stride in the game in pounding out 13 hits, but could not string together enough offense to do much damage, leaving 11 runners on base. Jericho Jones put together another big game after pitching the first one with a 4-for-5 effort and two RBI. Clay Alexander was nearly as impressive, going 3-for-5 in the game.
Brian Smith (2-0) got the win for the Hornets, giving up three runs on seven hits in five full innings of work. Jeff Roth went 1.1 innings and gave up two hits but kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard to earn his second save of the year.
Tech was finally able to somewhat slow the Hornet hitting attack, limiting them to just one home run in the contest after giving up 11 in the first two games.
But Burnett and three other Bulldog hurlers were able to finally slow down the Hornets as an unearned run in the sixth inning was all Sacramento would score the rest of the way.
Tech tried to claw its way back into the contest with a run in the fifth when Chris Kersten singled to left, scoring Kevin Winn from second and making the score 5-3 at the time. But the Hornet run in the sixth would extend State's advantage to 6-3
The `Dawgs would get one more in the eighth when Clint Stubbs lined a pinch-hit single to center field to bring in Albie Goulder from third, making it 6-4. Tech then got a pair of runners on base in the ninth inning, but could not bring them home.
In the day's first contest, Sacramento State hit six home runs - bringing its total to 11 in two games - and fought off a 16-hit attack by Louisiana Tech to take its second straight game in the series by a 13-7 margin.
Jericho Jones (5-2) had his roughest outing of the year, getting shelled for eight runs on 10 hits in five innings pitched. Three of those 10 hits were home runs. Andrew Lassere and John Anderson tried to put the fire out, but had rough outings of their own as they gave up a combined five runs on six hits in four innings of work.
Louisiana Tech pounded out 16 hits in the game, but could not capitalize with runners on base. Kevin Winn continued his hot streak as he went 4-for-4 with a run scored. Four Bulldogs - Albie Goulder, Chris Kersten, Adam Cobb and Nick Grunenwald - had two hits apiece, and Jones and Clay Alexander each hit a home run in the contest.
For the Hornets it was their second straight game showing off their power. Ryan Blair and Wes Oberlin hit two home runs apiece, and Blake Crosby and Travis Kirkman each had one. Oberlin went 4-for-4 with 3 RBI, and four other Hornets had two hits apiece.
A 12-day, eight-game road swing through California awaits Louisiana Tech as the Bulldogs will travel to Fresno State next weekend to take on the WAC's other Bulldogs in a four-game series. Following that, Tech will travel to San Jose for another four-game set with the Spartans. Fans can catch all the action on ESPN 97.7 FM or online at www.espn977.com.