April 30, 2011
RUSTON, La. - Mark Threlkeld was 2-for-3 with three runs batted in to lead the Bulldogs to an 8-2 win in game one of the doubleheader and Corey White scored from second on wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth of the second game as Tech rallied to win, 6-5, to clinch the series Saturday afternoon at J.C. Love Field.
Game 1: Louisiana Tech 8, Nevada 2
Kyle Roliard led off the first with a single to center and advanced to second as Tommy Niebergall was unable to handle the ball cleanly. Ryan Gebhardt then moved Roliard over to third with a sacrifice bunt and Threlkeld drove him in with his first career triple down the right field line. Alex Williams followed with a sacrifice fly to center that gave the Bulldogs a two-run lead on Nevada starter, Jeremy Cole.
Tech broke the game open in the second as the Bulldogs plated six runs in the inning, tying a season-high for the most runs scored in a frame. Colby Johnson and Justin Gordey both drew walks while Austin Hedges singled to load the bases.
With one out, Roliard chopped a grounder in front of the plate in which Cole was unable to field the ball allowing Johnson to score from third. Gebhardt then ripped a two-run single to left center and Threlkeld followed with a two-run double to right field off of Nevada reliever, Sean Prihar. Tech capped the six-run inning when Williams ripped an RBI single through the left side, scoring Threlkeld.
Cole (3-4) was charged with the loss after allowing seven runs on just four hits while walking two batters in 1.1 innings of work. Despite giving up the two-run double, Prihar was effective for the remainder of the game as he kept the Bulldogs in check allowing just three hits in 4.2 innings of relief work.
After retiring the first six batters that he faced, Jeb Stefan allowed the Wolf Pack to get on the scoreboard in the third as Waylen Sing Chow drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to left field. Nevada added another run in the top of the fourth when Brian Barnett hit a solo shot to right center.
Stefan (5-4) hurled his second complete game of the season and his second-straight at home as he allowed just two runs on four hits while recording three strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work.
Game 2: Louisiana Tech 6, Nevada 5
The Bulldogs picked up where they left off in the second game as Joey Ford recorded his first hit of the series as he drove in Alex Williams with an RBI single to center field in the first. Nevada (15-23, 4-6 WAC) scored a pair of runs on three hits in the top of the second but Tech answered as Williams drove in Threlkeld with an RBI single to left center.
However, the Wolf Pack reclaimed the lead in the fourth when Garrett Yrigoyen notched an RBI single to center. With two runners on and no outs in the inning, Mike Jefferson picked off Yrigoyen and forced the next two hitters to foul out to escape further damage.
In the bottom of the fifth, both Gebhardt and Williams had RBI singles off of Troy Marks to give the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead over Nevada. However, the Pack added runs in the sixth and seventh innings off of Mike Jefferson to take a one-run lead.
Although he didn't factor into the decision, Jefferson allowed eight hits and four earned runs while striking out five and recording a career-high three wild pitches in 6.0 innings of work.
With a one-run lead in the eighth, Nevada went to the pen for closer Matt Gardner who had not allowed an earned run in his previous 13 relief appearances. On a 3-1 pitch, Johnson singled through the right side to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from pinch hitter Taylor Terrasas. On a first pitch fastball, Hedges sent a shot to the gap in left center for an RBI double that evened the game at five runs apiece.
After Caleb Dudley made quick work of the Wolf Pack in the ninth, Gardner recorded two quick outs on two standout defensive plays to rob Gebhardt and Threlkeld of base hits. Despite being down in the count, Williams fought off a 1-2 pitch and singled through the right side and moved to second after Ford sent a frozen rope back up the middle.
Williams finished the day with five hits in six at-bats with four runs batted in and one walk.
Looking for speed on the bases, Corey White pinch ran for Williams at second with Johnson coming up to the plate. With three balls and no strikes against Johnson, Gardner fired a pitch into the dirt that kicked off the catcher and skipped towards the Nevada dugout allowing White to score all the way from second on the wild pitch, giving the Bulldogs a 6-5 win in walk-off fashion.
Dudley picked up his fourth win of the season as he worked the final three innings for the Bulldogs allowing just one walk and one base hit.
Louisiana Tech (24-21, 7-8 WAC) will look for the season sweep tomorrow afternoon as these same two teams meet in the series finale at 1 p.m. at J.C. Love Field.
Notes: Louisiana Tech is now 13-37 all-time against Nevada... Tech has posted an 18-5 record this season at J.C. Love Field... Tech has won 24 of their last 29 games at home... Alex Williams (5), Ryan Gebhardt (4), Kyle Roliard (8) and Justin Gordey (3) all extended hitting streaks... Colby Johnson saw his seven-game hitting streak come to and end... Joey Ford (15), Kyle Roliard (15), Alex Williams (14), Mark Threlkeld and Ryan Gebhardt (6) all tallied multi-hit games...The walk-off win was the fourth of the season for the Bulldogs... The walk-off wild pitch was the first since Tech won in the same situation on March 29, 2008 vs. San Jose State... Threlkeld has made 116 consecutive starts.