April 27, 2009
SACRAMENTO -- Casey Jones' excellent outing on Monday afternoon was aided by five Bulldog home runs as Louisiana Tech (22-18, 7-9 WAC) earned a series split by defeating Sacramento State (23-19, 4-8 WAC) 10-5 at Hornet Field.
"Our offense gave Casey plenty of support and our defense played extremely well behind him," Tech head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "We pounded out 16 hits and did not commit an error on the day."
For the second time in the series, Louisiana Tech scored one run in the top of the first inning. Following a perfectly executed hit and run by Kevin Winn, Devon Dageford added his 55th RBI of the season after he hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Nick Grunenwald and give the Bulldogs an early lead.
Tech's lead did not last very long though as second baseman Hunter Martinez led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run to right-center field.
In the top of the fourth, Dageford broke the tie game after he hit his 19th home run of the season to start the inning. Chris Kersten then smashed his 15th home run of the year, a solo shot, to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 advantage.
Jones did not let the leadoff solo home run bother him as that was the only hit and run he allowed through four innings. In that span, he also walked two and struck out one.
Alex Williams gave Jones another insurance run in the sixth inning. With one out in the frame, the native of Vick, La. hit Tech's third solo home run of the day to give his team a 4-1 lead.
Jones eclipsed his previous career-high five innings pitched after he recorded two strikeouts and a fly out in the sixth inning. At the end of six, Jones allowed only three hits and one run.
Kersten hit his second home run of the day in the top of the seventh inning with two outs to increase Tech's advantage, 5-1. A fielding error by Martinez allowed Clint Ewing to score from second base. Kyle Roliard then ran out an RBI single to give Tech a 7-1 lead. Before Sacramento State reliever Nick Buchta could escape the inning, Patrick Thomas cracked a three-run home run.
After Jones forced a fly out in the bottom of the eighth, Hornet shortstop Josh Powers hit a wind-aided double down the left-field line just behind third base. Center fielder Tim Wheeler then hit an RBI double to give Sacramento State its second run. John Anderson relieved Jones in the inning and hit first baseman Jeff Roth to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by left fielder Adam Crouch minimized the Bulldogs lead, 10-3.
The Hornets scored two runs on two hits in the ninth inning, but reliever Mike Jefferson forced a game-ending double play, Tech's first double play of the series.
Jones improved to 3-0 on the year with the win. He pitched a total of 7 2/3 innings, allowed seven hits, three runs (all earned) and only two walks. He also added five strikeouts.
Kersten led his teammates with three hits, including two home runs, while Thomas led the team with three RBI.
Louisiana Tech out-hit Sacramento State 16-9.
Tech's back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning marked the third time the Bulldogs have hit back-to-back long balls this season.
The Bulldogs have now hit 78 home runs this year, second-most in Tech history. One hundred and two home runs were hit by Louisiana Tech in 1988.