Bulldogs Sting Hornets for 5-4 Victory
April 26, 2013
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech rallied from an early deficit on the road and defeated Sacramento State, 5-4, in Western Athletic Conference play Friday night at John Smith Field in Sacramento.
Sacramento State (24-18, 8-8 WAC) led 2-0 early on, but Tech (15-28, 3-13 WAC) responded with a four-run fifth inning and added a run late to break an eight-game WAC losing streak for the Bulldogs.
"I love our guys and the way they fight," head coach Wade Simoneaux. "Our guys could have easily thrown in the towel on this season a long time ago and they didn't, but that was a good ball game all around. We defended well, hit the ball and played as a team."
Senior James Ferguson (2-1) earned the win after allowing three runs - all earned - off six hits in a career-long six innings for the left hander. After giving up a two-run home run in the first, Ferguson proceeded to retire the next 13 straight Sacramento State batters. Caleb Dudley (6) came on in relief in the seventh and pitched the final three innings to pick up the save for the Bulldogs.
Ty Nichols (4-5) started and was charged with the loss after giving up four runs - all earned - off nine hits in seven full innings of work. Tyler Hoelzen began the eighth for Sacramento State, but was relieved in favor of Brandon Creel, who pitched the final two innings for Sacramento State and allowed just two hits.
Sacramento State took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning off a two-run home run by Justin Higley, his ninth of the season, but the Bulldogs responded a few innings later.
In the fifth, Ryan Jones led off the inning with a bunt single followed by Taylor Love being hit by a pitch and a single to left field by Taylor Burch. With the bases loaded and no outs, Sam Alvis lined a bases-clearing double down the left field line to give Tech a 3-2 lead over the Hornets. A sacrifice fly to right field by Taylor Terrasas plated the fourth and final run of the inning to give the Bulldogs a 4-2 advantage.
The Hornets cut Tech's lead to one in the bottom half of the sixth inning off an RBI double down by Nathan Lukes, but the inning was cut short by a base running mishap by Lukes, who was forced out after failing to tag up on a fly ball to left field to end the rally for Sacramento State.
Tech added an insurance run in the eighth inning off an RBI single to center field by Love with the bases loaded to score Tyler Ervine, who singled to start the inning, from third base and give the Bulldogs a 5-3 lead.
Sacramento State cut Tech's lead to one once again in the eighth inning off an RBI single by Hornet third baseman Will Soto, but the Dudley closed out the ninth to clinch the victory for the Bulldogs.
Tech was led at the plate by the first four hitters in the order, Alvis, Tyler Qualls, Terrasas and Ervine, all of whom recorded two hits each in the victory. Alvis led with a 2-for-5 effort with a double, 3 RBI and a run scored. Bre'shon Kimbell, Jones, Love, Burch and Austin Hedges each had one hit in the game.
David Del Grande, Lukes and Soto each totaled two hits each for Sacramento State on the day.
The conference series between the two teams resumes at 3 p.m. CT Saturday at John Smith Field in Sacramento.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please follow @LATechBSB on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech athletics at www.LATechSports.com.
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