April 15, 2014
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - After leading 6-0 after five and a half innings of play, Louisiana Tech allowed seven unanswered runs by UALR, eventually falling, 7-6, to the Trojans on Tuesday night at Gary Hogan Field.
LA Tech (10-24) squandered a six-run advantage by allowing UALR (14-20) to plate three runs in the sixth, one in the seventh and three in the eighth to sweep the season series over the Bulldogs.
Stephen Chandler (1-0) picked up his first win of the season after coming on in the sixth and pitching 3.0 innings to set up the win for Tanner Rockwell, who picked up a save in the ninth. Chandler allowed one run on two hits, while walking four and striking out one. Rockwell (2) came on in relief of Ethan Schlechte in the ninth to clinch the final out for the Trojans. Chad Bradford started for UALR and gave up five runs on four hits and four walks in 3.2 innings before Jesse Harbin came on in the fourth to pitch 1.1 innings.
Laetten Galbraith (2-3) was charged with the loss for Tech after coming on in the eighth with a one-run lead and allowing two runs on two base hits in 0.2 innings on the mound. Jared Keating and Eric Dunbar combined to pitch 2.1 innings in relief of starter Braden Bristo, allowing five runs on five hits for UALR.
Freshman right-hander Bristo started the game off right for the Bulldogs by striking out the side in order in the first inning, which is the first time a LA Tech pitcher has done that since Jeb Stefan accomplished that feat in the 2009 season. In the longest outing of his career, Bristo allowed no runs on one hit, while striking out four in five full innings on the mound.
Two ground balls by Blanchard and Jacob Derouen gave Tech two quick outs in the fourth, but Thomas Simoneaux and Bre'shon Kimbell drew two walks to set up an RBI single by Taylor Burch. Taylor Love was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, which brought Ryan Jones to the plate, who earned an RBI on a bases loaded walk to make it 3-0 in LA Tech's favor. Colby Johnson followed up with a two-RBI single to right field with the bases loaded for a 5-0 Bulldog lead.
UALR threatened to break up a shutout in the fifth with bases loaded, but two ground balls and a rundown between third base and home plate preserved a five-run lead for LA Tech.
In the sixth, UALR began chipping away at Tech's six-run lead, beginning with a bases loaded sacrifice fly by Bryson Thionnet to get the Trojans on the board. Another walk set up a two-RBI single to center field by Drew Merten to make it a three-run game with the Bulldogs up 6-3.
The Trojans added one run in the seventh to make it 6-4 after Ben Crumpton singled, stole second and third, and then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Rockwell.
A one-out single by Ryan Scott in the eighth inning started a rally for UALR, as a double by Merten set up runners on second and third. After Galbraith came in to pitch in relief of Dunbar, Scott scored on a wild pitch, which moved Merten to third as the game-tying run. Pinch hitter Sam Vogel walked and reached second on a sacrifice bunt, and Crumpton followed up with a double down the right field line that completed the comeback win for UALR.
Jones and Burch each led the Bulldogs at the plate, as the two tallied two hits apiece in the loss. Jones was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI, while Burch had an RBI and scored two runs on the night. Johnson was 1-for-3 with two RBI and two walks, while Blanchard also doubled and notched an RBI for Tech.
Crumpton and Merten led the Trojans at the dish with two hits and two RBI each in the win.
The Bulldogs return to action at 6 p.m. on Friday to start a three-game series in Hattiesburg, Miss., against Southern Miss.
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