May 7, 2011
RUSTON, La. - Mark Threlkeld hit a two-run home run to right center in what proved to be the game-winning runs as Tech knocked off 19th-ranked Fresno State, 8-6, in game one of the doubleheader but FS bounced back and took the second game of the afternoon, 7-4. The win by Tech in the early game marked the first time that the Bulldogs had knocked off a ranked opponent since dropping 11th-ranked Baylor on March 4, 2008.
Game One: Louisiana Tech 8, No. 19 Fresno State 6
Fresno State jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Tech after home runs from Kenny Wise and Pat Hutcheson and an RBI single from Jordan Ribera off of Jeb Stefan in the third.
In the bottom of the inning, Justin Gordey drew a four-pitch walk off of Josh Poytress. Gordey then moved to third on a single to left center from Kyle Roliard and both were driven in on back-to-back RBI singles from Threlkeld and Alex Williams. With two outs, Clint Ewing drilled a single to left center driving in both Threlkeld and Williams and Tech capped the five-run inning when Joey Ford scored on a fielding error at short.
Poytress (5-1) was charged with his first loss of the season as he allowed seven runs on seven hits and five walks while striking out six batters.
Both teams traded runs in the fourth and Threlkeld put the Bulldogs ahead for good as he belted his seventh home run of the season, driving in Roliard, to give Tech an 8-4 lead heading to the seventh.
Looking for his third-straight complete game at home, Stefan quickly recorded two outs before allowing a single through the right side and a two-run shot from Ribera to cut the deficit to just one run. Needing one more out, Mike LeBreton came on in relief but could not retire a batter which brought Caleb Dudley in from the pen in a save situation.
With the bases loaded, Dudley needed just two pitches to force Austin Wynns to fly out to left as Roliard charged in to make the grab, giving the Bulldogs the first game of the day.
Stefan (6-4) picked up his sixth win of the season despite allowing six runs on six hits. The righty fanned five batters, just one shy of his season-high, and issued three walks. Dudley picked up his ninth save of the season to move into a tie with Matt Buckle for the all-time single-season saves mark at Tech.
Game Two: No. 19 Fresno State 7, Louisiana Tech 4
Looking for the afternoon sweep, Tech got off to a fast start as Roliard drew a leadoff walk and scored after a ground out and two wild pitches. Williams then drove in Threlkeld with an RBI single to center to give Tech a two-run lead on Tyler Linehan.
However, despite throwing 29 pitches in the first inning, Linehan (4-1) settled in and worked 5.2 innings to pick up the win, allowing just two runs on five hits and five walks while picking up four strikeouts.
Fresno State (32-10, 12-6 WAC) evened the score in the third and took the lead in the fifth as Qualls scored on a ground ball double play. FS then added four runs over the next three innings to extend their lead to five runs.
Making his second start of the season, Roliard (0-2) took the loss after allowing three runs on two hits while walking four batters in 4.0 innings of work.
Tech had opportunities to score additional runs in the second game but Fresno State turned four double plays in the middle innings to stifle any chance at producing more runs.
The Bulldogs made things interesting down the stretch as Roliard notched an RBI double and Gebhardt hit an infield single that drove in Qualls in the bottom of the ninth. However, it wasn't enough as Taylor Garrison worked the final 3.1 innings allowing just five hits to pick up his second save of the season.
Louisiana Tech (26-24, 8-11 WAC) returns to action tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. CT. Mike Jefferson will get the Sunday start as Tech aims for the series split.
Notes: Louisiana Tech is now 24-27 all-time against Fresno State... Tech is 5-1 this season when scoring five-plus runs in an inning... Kyle Roliard has now hit safely in 13-straight games since moving to the leadoff spot... Ryan Gebhardt has now hit safely in eight-straight games and 14-straight home games... Mark Threlkeld has hit safely in five-straight games... Threlkeld has made 119 consecutive starts... With nine saves on the season, Caleb Dudley is now tied with Matt Buckle (2000) for the all-time single-season saves mark at Louisiana Tech.