Stefan's 10 Strikeouts Not Enough in Series Opener at Nevada
April 13, 2012
RENO, Nev. - Jeb Stefan allowed just three hits and struck out 10 hitters and Tech scored two runs in the ninth inning to cut Nevada's lead to one in the series opener at Nevada but it was not enough as Louisiana Tech (17-17, 1-3 WAC) fell to the Wolf Pack (17-16, 2-2 WAC), 3-2, on Friday afternoon at a cold Peccole Park.
"We pitched well enough to win," said head coach Wade Simoneaux. "Jeb looked good today. One thing you can't practice is playing in this weather and he pitched well in these conditions."
Stefan (2-6) was credited with the loss for the Bulldogs after striking out 10 in a season-high 6.2 innings. Stefan's 10 strikeouts were the most by the right-hander since Feb. 19, 2010 (vs. Alcorn State). Braden Shipley (6-2) picked up his sixth victory of the season after going 8.0 innings, allowing just three hits with five strikeouts. Sean Prihar picked up his first save on the year in 0.2 innings to shut the door on the Bulldogs.
Tyler Qualls reached base in all four plate appearances as the catcher with two singles and two walks as the catcher recorded his sixth multi-hit game of the season. Jamie Gilley pitched 1.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for the Bulldogs, allowing just one hit while striking out two. Justin Gordey picked up a two-run single in the top of the ninth inning to cut Nevada's lead to one as the senior center fielder was 1-for-3 at the dish.
The Wolf Pack took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on two doubles by leadoff hitter Tommy Niebergall and right fielder Brooks Klein. Stefan settled down to hold Nevada scoreless through the next five innings as the redshirt junior allowed just one hit after the first inning.
Nevada added two runs on one hit in the bottom of the seventh inning off of Gilley to take a 3-0 advantage.
However the Bulldogs rallied back and threatened in the ninth inning as Nevada brought in their closer, Matt Gardner. Gardner, who had seven saves and a 1.61 ERA entering the game, walked designated hitter Bre'shon Kimbell and second baseman Austin Hedges to begin the ninth. The Wolf Pack then made a pitching change and brought in Timothy Culligan to face Qualls with runners in the first and second with no outs. Qualls walked to load the bases for Gordey.
Corey White entered the game for Qualls as a pinch runner for the Bulldogs as White was the tying run for Tech. Gordey singled up the middle driving in Kimbell and Hedges but White was thrown out at third base as the junior outfielder over slid the bag for the first out of the inning.
Down 3-2 with one out, the Wolf Pack made another pitching change, moving third baseman Garrett Yrigoyen to the mound and designated hitter Austin Byler to third base. Taylor Burch walked, advancing the tying run (Gordey) to scoring position with one out. Pinch hitter Kody Neel was hit by a pitch loading the bases for left fielder Sam Alvis.
Prihar emerged from the Nevada bullpen as the fourth pitcher of the inning for the Wolf Pack. Prihar got Alvis to foul out to first base for the second out of the inning and shortstop Ryan Gebhardt to hit a hard ground ball to shortstop to cut Tech's rally short.
Phil Maton (5-3) takes the hill for the Bulldogs in game two of the three-game set tomorrow as first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT.
Fans can listen to Dave Nitz on the LA Tech Sports Network beginning with the pregame show at 2:45 p.m. and can follow the game via Game Tracker.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechKQueliz on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.
Notes: Jeb Stefan struck out nine Nevada hitters, the most since April 30, 2000... Stefan's 6.2 innings tied a season-high for the most innings thrown by the right-hander this season... Tyler Qualls recorded his sixth multi-hit game as the catcher went 2-for-2 from the plate... Qualls reached base safely three times with two singles and a walk... Williams and Ryan Gebhardt have started all 34 games while Gebhardt has played every inning of every game... Williams has started 101 consecutive games dating back to last season... Williams surpassed for ninth all-time in Tech history with 200 games played in his Bulldog career... Williams reached base safely twice as the senior first baseman was hit by a pitch in the first and fifth innings.