May 8, 2011
RUSTON, La. - Mike Jefferson retired the final 10 batters in order to tally the second complete game of his career as Louisiana Tech knocked off 19th-ranked Fresno State, 8-4, earning the series split Sunday afternoon J.C. Love Field.
Trailing by three runs in the third, Justin Gordey singled to left field and Will Alvis followed with a double down the left field line to put two runners in scoring position. With one out, Ryan Gebhardt notched an RBI single to third base, scoring Gordey.
Following a foul out, Alex Williams turned on a 3-2 pitch from Tom Harlan and drove it to the berm in deep right center for a three-run home run to cap a four-run inning and give Tech a one-run lead over Fresno State.
In the bottom of the fourth, Tech added a run when Clint Ewing fouled off a 1-2 pitch from Harlan and drove the very next pitch to left field for his second home run of the season. Ewing finished the afternoon with two hits.
Harlan (4-3) was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings of work.
Fresno State (32-11, 12-7 WAC) strung together a pair of singles and walk to load the bases in the top of the fifth with the heart of the order coming to the plate.
With one out, Jefferson walked Jordan Ribera on a full-count to cut the deficit to just one run. However, the southpaw induced an inning-ending double-play ball from Garrett Weber to escape the jam and keep Tech's lead intact.
With one out and two runners on in the sixth, Clint Ewing threw behind Andy Qualls and picked him off after he had taken a big secondary lead at first. Jefferson then followed the pivotal defense play and got a pop out to second to end the inning and then put the game into cruise control from that point.
Tech added a pair of runs in the seventh as Williams drove in his career-high fourth run of the game with a sacrifice fly and Gebhardt drove in his second run of the afternoon on an infield bunt single. The Bulldogs extended their lead in the eighth when Alvis notched his second RBI double of the day, scoring Corey White from second.
With his pitch count exceeding 125 pitches and having retired the last seven batters that he faced, Jefferson came out to work the ninth to the tune of a standing ovation. The redshirt junior quickly caught Austin Wynns looking and struck out Jacob Alvarez before getting a line out to first that ended the game.
Louisiana Tech (27-24, 9-11 WAC) will conclude the home portion of the schedule on Wednesday afternoon as the Bulldogs play host to Mississippi Valley State. Tech will pay tribute to the six-member senior class as first pitch of the doubleheader is slated for 3 p.m. at J.C. Love Field.
Notes: Louisiana Tech is now 25-27 all-time against Fresno State... Tech is now 18-5 against Fresno State at home during the Simoneaux era... Tech is 21-8 this season at home... Tech is 17-1 this season when leading after eight innings... Tech is 162-7 since the 2004 season when leading after eight innings... Eight of Tech's nine starters recorded at least one hit while seven of those eight tallied multi-hit games... The four runs batted in from Alex Williams marked a career-high... The 9.0 innings of work from Jefferson tied a career-high... The 137 pitches from Jefferson marked a career-high... Jefferson picked off his WAC-leading ninth runner of the year... The two runs scored and two hits from Gebhardt tied career-highs... The two doubles from Will Alvis tied a career-high... Kyle Roliard has now hit safely in 14-straight games since moving to the leadoff spot (22-for-50, .440)... Gebhardt has hit safely in nine-straight games... Gebhardt has hit safely in 15-straight home games (20-for-50, .400)... Mark Threlkeld has made 120 consecutive starts.