April 9, 2010
RUSTON--The Louisiana Tech baseball team kicked off the conference season with a 14-1 win over San Jose State in seven innings on Friday night at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in front of 1,062 fans.
The Bulldogs (16-12, 1-0) snapped a nine game losing streak against the Spartans (11-16, 0-1) as they showed off their offensive prowess in the WAC opener recording 14 runs off 16 hits, four of which were homeruns, in just seven innings played.
Senior Jamey Bradshaw (3-0) pitched all seven innings for Tech to pick up the win as he allowed just one run while scattering seven hits and striking out four. Bradshaw increased his quality start streak to eight games in as many chances tonight. The Spartans' Luke Mazzanti (0-4) was hit with the loss giving up nine runs, seven earned, over three innings of work.
"Jamey (Bradshaw) fought hard and got us the win tonight and without his best stuff," Tech head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "His breaking pitch and change-up weren't working like he wanted them to, but he located when he had to and let the defense play behind him and we played great defense tonight with zero errors. Of course it makes it a lot easier to pitch when the offense gives you a lead like they did tonight."
Tech started the game with a bang in the first inning as the first three LA Tech batters reached safely with singles to set up a grand-slam homerun by Devon Dageford (7) off the scoreboard in rightfield to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead. The grand-slam was Dageford's third of his career at Tech.
"Our hitting coach Fran Andermann and I have really stressed to the team this year about how important it is to be able to hit with two strikes," said Simoneaux. "(Devon) Dageford's grand-slam came when he was down 0-2 and (Mark) Threlkeld's homerun came with a 0-2 count. I think we had six or seven hits tonight with two strikes."
The Bulldogs scored two more times in the fourth before Clint Ewing hit a three-run bomb well over the left centerfield fence in the fifth inning to up Tech's lead to 14-1 which would be the final after seven. It was Ewing's sixth homerun of the season.
Dageford led all Bulldogs with four RBI off of the grand-slam and added a double to his credit as well for a 2-for-4 night. Ewing and Threlkeld each recorded three RBI a-piece. Kyle Roliard upped his hit streak to 12 games while Joey Ford went 3-for-4 to put his season batting average over the .400 mark at .404. \ "It's like I told the guys tonight. This is only one game," said Simoneaux. "This series is far from over. Conference is a fight for 24 games and we have a long way to go. Tonight was a good game for us, but you know tomorrow we're going to get their best effort and we need to be ready."
Louisiana Tech and San Jose State will meet again tomorrow for a double-header at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.
Fans can listen to Dave Nitz bringing the action live on the radio on ESPN 97.7 in all four games this weekend. Those with a LA Tech All-Access subscription can watch the game via a live internet stream which will be linked directly to Nitz's call. Gametracker will also be available on www.latechsports.com.