May 22, 2009
HONOLULU -- Louisiana Tech (29-21) had several opportunities to score in its game against New Mexico State (43-15) Friday evening at Les Murakami Stadium, but the Aggies were able to escape numerous jams in their 6-5 win over the Bulldogs.
"I thought our players competed again," Tech head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "Our pitchers really pitched well down the stretch in tonight's game. (New Mexico State) felt us coming towards the end, but we did not have the good breaks go our way in the first six innings. But we never quit and that is what I love about this group. As long as we continue to prepare, stay mentally focused and compete, that is all I can ask for."
Since LA Tech was the home team in its game against Hawai'i and New Mexico State was the away team in its contest against Fresno State on Thursday, the Aggies were the home team in Friday's ballgame.
After the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Devon Dageford RBI single, New Mexico State sent seven batters to the plate in the bottom half. Right fielder Nate Shaver tied the game on a double. Shortstop Bryan Marquez and first baseman Mike Sodders each added an RBI to give their team a 3-1 advantage.
Aggie starter Tyler Sturdevant settled down after Tech's one-run first inning. In the following two innings, he allowed only one more hit, while forcing five ground outs.
New Mexico State had a base runner on third base with one out in the bottom of the third, but Tech starter Dylan Moseley was able to strand the Aggie by earning the final two outs to end the inning.
Alex Williams and Mark Threlkeld hit back-to-back singles in the fourth inning. Following an error that allowed Kyle Roliard to reach first base, Tech had the bases loaded with one out. Sturdevant was able to escape the jam by striking out Matt Combs and forcing Patrick Thomas to fly out.
Designated hitter Kyle Decater gave New Mexico State a four-run lead in the bottom half of the frame as a result of a two-run home run.
Kevin Winn drew a one out walk in the top of the fifth. On the following pitch, Dageford ripped a single to center field to move Winn to second base. Sturdevant was once again able to escape the inning without allowing the base runners to score by inducing a fly out and a ground out.
A leadoff walk to Marquez came back to hurt Tech in the fifth inning. Sodders brought home the Aggies' sixth run of the game on a double to center field.
With his team down by five, Dageford made it a two-run game by smashing his 23rd home run of the season, a three-run shot, on a 0-2 count to center field in the seventh inning.
Roliard drew a walk with one out in the eighth inning. Following a balk and a wild pitch, he stood at third base. Thomas appeared to hit a potential game-tying home run to right field, but Shaver caught the ball in front of the fence.
With two outs in the ninth inning, Dageford drew a walk. Chris Kersten trimmed New Mexico State's lead to one after he drove a double down the right-field line to score Tech's right fielder. Following a walk by Williams, Clint Stubbs pinch ran for him at first base. Aggie reliever Justin Cooper was able to end the game by striking out Threlkeld.
Dageford led Tech with three hits and four RBI. He also scored two times.
Moseley received the loss and is now 5-4 on the year.
The Bulldogs will now play the No. 1 seed San Jose State at 4 p.m. CST on Saturday. On Friday, the Spartans fell to the No. 3 seed Fresno State 6-3. If Tech wins the game, they will have a rematch with New Mexico State on Sunday at 12 a.m. CST.
Fans can tune into ESPN 97.7 FM to hear Scott Robbs call the play-by-play action. An audio feed will also be available online at www.espn977.com. The pregame show will begin at approximately 3:50 p.m. CST.
Live stats will be available at the online home of Louisiana Tech athletics, www.latechsports.com.