May 4, 2008
RUSTON, La. - Landon Braud and Derek Achelpohl pitched lights-out in Sunday's second game, but Nevada found a way to scratch out a pair of runs to take a 2-0 victory over Louisiana Tech in the final contest of a four-game series at J.C. Love Field.
"We've used enough bad luck this season to last us many years," Tech head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "It is unbelievable how snakebitten we have been. It's indescribable, really."
"There's a lot of good teams in this league, and they don't make many mistakes. The one game Nevada made a couple of mistakes this weekend, we beat them."
It was the shortest nine-inning game of the season (two hours and four minutes) for the Bulldogs (20-27, 5-21 WAC), who were shut out for the third time this season and the second time in conference play. Nevada (28-19, 15-9 WAC), with three wins this weekend, picked up a game on league-leading Fresno State and stands only one game out of first place in the WAC.
Braud (0-1), a senior who was honored before the first game of the doubleheader, had the longest outing of his career as he went 6.2 innings and gave up just two runs (one earned) on eight hits while striking out three. Alex Richard, pitching for the second straight day, went 2.1 shutout innings, giving up just one hit.
Braud's performance followed up another outstanding outing in the first game by Andrew Lassere, who went eight-plus innings in relief after starter Dylan Moseley was controversially ejected in the second inning.
"I wish every day could be Senior Day," Simoneaux said. "Both those guys pitched their guts out. Lassere has done that a few times for us this year. And Landon Braud deserves some success, he's just a great kid that works really hard."
Neither team broke through until the sixth inning when Nevada's Jason Rodriguez walked and advanced to second on Shaun Kort's sacrifice bunt. A Terry Walsh single to center would bring in Rodriguez for the game's initial run, and the Wolf Pack held a 1-0 lead.
The Pack would then double their lead in the seventh after a two-out grounder got past Drew Bunting at third to keep the inning alive. Back-to-back singles then followed to score Jason Sadoian from third to make it 2-0.
Tech would threaten in the bottom of the ninth as a walk by Albie Goulder and a Jones single brought the potential winning run to the plate with runners on first and third and no out. Bunting then unleashed one of the hardest-hit balls of the day, but Achelpohl - almost in self-defense - snared the line drive and then flipped the ball to first to double off Jones. After a pitching change for the Wolf Pack, Chris Bohannan was called upon to pinch hit, but struck out swinging to end the game.
"We played good baseball today," Simoneaux said. "I'm proud at how the guys continue to play hard, even though we're playing for nothing at this point. I really tip my hat to the guys for that."
The Bulldogs have a pair of mid-week games this week before having a weekend off from conference play. Tech travels to UL-Lafayette on Tuesday then will make up the April 2 rainout at Northwestern State on Wednesday night. Tuesday's game at ULL is slated for a 6:30 p.m. start with the broadcast to be heard on ESPN 97.7 FM (online at www.espn977.com). The game will also be televised locally in the Lafayette area on WLAF-TV, and live streaming video will be available through ULL's web site, www.ragincajuns.com. Tech will be running GameTracker as well at www.latechsports.com.