Nov. 4, 2017
RUSTON, La. – Two games into Louisiana Tech Baseball’s Fall World Series and both the Red Bulls and Blue Dogs seem to share a common quality – a flair for the dramatic.
Just one night after Brandon Talley’s grand slam sent the Red Bulls home with a 10-6 win, the Blue Dogs’ Steele Netterville launched a three-run shot down the left field line, giving the Dogs a series-tying 7-5 victory on Saturday morning from J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
“Once again, our guys went out there and competed their tails off for the second day in a row,” head coach Lane Burroughs noted. “I’m so proud of the way they responded to a quick turnaround and played with an edge.”
The Red Bulls got the scoring started early in this one, after a Jonathan Parker single brought home Parker Bates for the game’s first run. The resilient Blue Dogs would have a response in the bottom of the frame however, as a two-RBI single from Dustin Mitchell and an RBI double for Tanner Huddleston, gave the Dogs a 3-1 lead after the first.
Both starting pitchers (Connor Neuman for the Dogs and David Leal for the Bulls) made relatively quick work of both lineups and coasted through the second inning.
Both offenses lit up the scoreboard again in the third, however, as the Dogs notched another run, while the Red Bulls drew to within one at 4-3, courtesy of a Cole Warken RBI double and a run-scoring single for Jonathan Parker.
The Red Bulls would tie things at four in the top of the fifth, but both bullpens pitched well across the fourth through seventh innings. Kyle Griffen struck out one and did not allow a baserunner in his two innings of work, while Jonathan Fincher, Kolton Vermillion and Cole Clinton combined for 5.2 innings, allowing just one run during that time.
Neither team held an advantage at the end of the scheduled seven-inning contest, so both squads faced extras for the first time in this Fall World Series.
In the top of the eighth frame, it looked like the Red Bulls would walk away victors as Graham Hackbarth singled home Talley, who started the inning on second in the international tie-break format.
However, the Blue Dogs worked some patient at-bats off senior Graham Ahlrich and walked away victorious after Netterville’s walk-off bomb.
"Our pitchers have done a very good job of pounding the strike zone this series,” Burroughs concluded. “Our hitters have also been taking great swings and evaluating pitches at a high level. It’s been two great games and fun to watch. I can’t wait for game three.”
Game three is scheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m. Game four will be Friday, also at 4 p.m. and game five will be played on Sunday at 1 p.m. (if necessary).