LA Tech Holds off FIU in C-USA Tournament Elimination Game
May 25, 2018
BILOXI, Miss. - The Louisiana Tech baseball team took a 7-5 triumph over the FIU Panthers on Thursday evening from MGM Park in an elimination game in the Conference USA Baseball Tournament.
The Bulldogs (39-19) saw a 4-for-5 effort at the plate from Hunter Wells, and a solid relief outing from Kent Hasler, keeping the team alive in the C-USA Tournament. Tech will advance to play the loser of (3) Florida Atlantic and (7) Rice at 4 p.m. CT on Friday.
With his four base hits, Wells notched a new single season program record with 90 - breaking the previous record of 88, owned by Jay Adcock (1980) and Raphael Gladu (2017).
"Hitters hit," Louisiana Tech coach Lane Burroughs said. "He's one of those guys you don't coach. He came into this program just knowing how to hit and he's been clutch for us all year."
"We told them on the bus, `Look, we know where we are, where it's probably going to be the end of our year if we lose,'" Burroughs said. "We just told them, `Go play loose. Play so loose that you can be dangerous.'
"We went two-and-out last year, I was proud of them for getting this win. We've still got a lot in front of us, but proud of our guys. The energy was there, the passion was there, the dugout was on fire and we came up with the big hits."
FIU took an early 1-0 lead in the first, but Tech responded with one in the second via an RBI single from Mason Robinson. Then after a pair of shutdown innings from Tech starter Logan Bailey, the Bulldogs took the lead in the top of the fourth courtesy of RBIs from Tanner Huddleston and Chris Clayton.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Panthers finally got to Bailey. FIU saw an RBI single from Eddie Silva, drawing the Panthers to within one. Senior Kent Hasler entered in relief with runners on first and second and one out. Hasler immediately got a flyout to center for out number two, but allowed back-to-back RBI base hits from both Austin Shenton and Hampton, allowing FIU to take a 4-3 lead.
But in the top of the seventh, the Tech offense answered the bell, surging back out in front with three runs of their own. Taylor Young got the scoring started with a game-tying RBI single through the left side, and then Wells scorched a 2-RBI single through the right side, giving Tech the lead at 6-4, and placing Wells in the history books with his 89th hit of the season.
FIU notched another run in the bottom of the seventh, drawing to within one at 6-5. However, Hasler persevered through the adversity and picked up the win, while striking out four and allowing one run.
Starter Logan Bailey went 5.1 innings, while allowing four runs (all earned), striking out five and walking just one.
Tech batters were hit by pitches twice tonight (Huddleston and Steele Netterville) which set a new program single-season record of 100 (breaking last year's mark of 99).
The Bulldogs will await the result of tomorrow morning's Florida Atlantic/Rice result, and will play the loser of that contest at 4 p.m. CT. Stay tuned to ConferenceUSA.com for schedule updates/changes.
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