May 16, 2008
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A clutch two-RBI single from Kevin Winn in the top of the ninth gave Louisiana Tech a 5-4 victory over New Mexico State in the first game of a doubleheader Friday afternoon at Presley Askew Field. It was the first road WAC victory for the Bulldogs (22-29, 6-21 WAC) on the season.
With two out and runners at second and third, Winn bounced one over the pitcher's head and just out of the reach of the second baseman to bring home Patrick Thomas and Nick Grunenwald to break a 3-3 tie and give the Bulldogs a 5-3 lead.
A Richard Stout single and a wild pitch brought up NMSU's Joseph Scaperotta, who promptly singled to score Stout and pull the Aggies (26-30, 13-16 WAC) within one with the winning run coming to the plate with two out. Chris Auten, the clean-up hitter, looped one into short left-center, but Thomas was able to run it down to end the threat and the game.
Alan Knotts got the start and pitched 6.1 strong innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits while striking out seven. Alex Richard (2-2) got the victory with two innings of work to close it out, giving up just one run on two hits. Jamey Bradshaw was effective in his 0.2 innings of relief, giving up just one hit while striking out one.
Tech got out to a first-inning lead when Grunenwald singled, stole second, reached third on a throwing error and crossed the plate on a Jericho Jones double off the "red monster" in center field - the ball would have been out of any other park in the league, easily - to give the `Dawgs a 1-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Knotts cruised through the first five innings, allowing just two hits and striking out seven. But he would run into some trouble in the sixth as a pair of one-out singles put runners on first and second. Then, with two out, Tyler Hardt tripled off the top of the center field wall to score both runs and tie the game.
The Aggies would take their first lead with a one-out single from leadoff hitter Richard Stout in the seventh to bring in Franky Busani and put NMSU ahead, 3-2.
But the Bulldogs would answer in the eighth. Kevin Winn and Jones led off with back-to-back singles, and Winn moved to third on a fly out to center. He would then score on a sacrifice fly from Chris Kersten to tie the game at 3-3.
The second game of the doubleheader is slated to begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. Central (6:30 p.m. Mountain). Tech's Dylan Moseley (1-5, 5.73) will get the start against NMSU's Tyler Sturdevant (6-5, 5.40). Fans can catch all the action on ESPN 97.7 FM (www.espn977.com) and follow live stats at www.latechsports.com.