April 6, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Ryan Gebhardt hit his first career home run as Louisiana Tech (16-14, 1-0 WAC) defeated Sacramento State (14-16, 0-1 WAC) in the Western Athletic Conference opener on Friday evening at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
Gebhardt's solo home run came in the second inning as the sophomore shortstop went 3-for-5 with two runs scored in the victory.
Jeb Stefan (2-5) picked up his second win of the season after pitching six innings while reigning WAC Pitcher of the Week Tanner Mendonca (4-4) was credited with the loss after allowing 11 hits and seven runs - five earned - in 4.2 innings. Caleb Dudley shut the door in the ninth inning as the junior picked up his sixth save on the year.
Jamie Gilley pitched two innings in relief of Stefan, allowing just one hit while striking out four. Taylor Burch went 2-for-3 from the plate with two runs scored and freshman Bre'shon Kimbell was 2-for-3 at the dish with one RBI. Austin Hedges picked up two hits and one RBI in four plate appearances as the Bulldogs recorded 12 hits, the most hits Tech has compiled since March 27 vs. Northwestern State.
The Hornets took an early 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning on three hits, including two doubles.
Burch and Beau Bayliss led off the bottom of the frame with a single and double, respectively, as the Bulldogs had runners in scoring position with no outs trailing 3-0. Left fielder Sam Alvis grounded out to second base but plated Burch and advanced Bayliss to third base as Tech now trailed 3-1.
Sacramento St. scored two runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-2 lead on three hits.
The Bulldogs exploded for five runs in the fifth inning to take a 7-5 lead on six hits as Tech batted around in the inning. Burch led off the inning with a single to left field and advanced to second on an infield single by Alvis. Gebhardt singled to left center to load the bases for Tech with one out in the inning.
Hedges hit a dribbler to third base for an infield hit as Burch came around to score as Tech trailed 5-3 with the bases still loaded. Cleanup hitter Alex Williams reached on an error by first baseman Clay Cederquist, allowing all runners to advance one base giving the Bulldogs their fourth run of the game as Tech now only trailed by one.
Kimbell singled to right center, tying the game at 5-5 with the bases still loaded and one out in the inning. Qualls hit a fly ball to left field that allowed Hedges to score as the Bulldogs took a 6-5 lead on the sacrifice fly by the catcher. Justin Gordey singled as Williams came around to score to give Tech a two-run lead.
Gilley and Dudley combined for three innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out four in relief of Stefan as Tech took game one, 7-5, from the Hornets.
Game two is scheduled for 3 p.m. tomorrow as Phil Maton (5-2) takes the hill for the Bulldogs. Fans can follow the game via Game Tracker and can listen to Dave Nitz on the LA Tech Sports Network, beginning with the pregame show at 2:45 p.m.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechKQueliz on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.