Nov. 10, 2017
RUSTON, La. – A pair of four-run innings, propelled by three RBI for both Chris Clayton and Dalton Skelton propelled the Blue Dogs to an 11-6 triumph over the Red Bulls in the finale of Louisiana Tech Baseball’s Fall World Series. The Blue Dogs clinched the title with a 3-1 series record.
“I’m really proud of the way our guys competed, not just in the Fall World Series, but in the entire phase of fall practice,” head coach Lane Burroughs noted. “Our staff is extremely excited about this club and the things we feel we can do this spring. We have depth, athleticism and can work some matchups with our pitching staff.”
The Red Bulls looked to be the aggressors early on, as Jonathan Parker brought home the game’s first run in the top of the first frame on an RBI single. Then, the Bulls tacked on another run in the top of the third as Taylor Young scored on an RBI groundout from Parker Bates, making the score 2-0 in favor of the Bulls.
However, the Blue Dogs bats woke up in the bottom of that third frame, as a Skelton two-run blast off Red Bulls’ starter Matt Miller drew the game even at two.
Both Miller and Kent Hasler made it through the fourth unscathed before the fireworks began in the fifth.
In the Red Bulls’ top half of the inning, they used a pair of hits along with two Blue Dog errors in the field to tack on four runs, seemingly breaking the game open at 6-2.
But the resiliency we’ve seen from both teams all throughout the fall period came to light again, as the Blue Dogs scored four of their own in the bottom half of the inning to even the score at six. Seth White knocked a big two-run single to get the scoring started, while Steele Netterville was plunked with the bases loaded and Clayton singled for the other pair of RBI.
The Dogs’ momentum carried over into the sixth, as an RBI groundout from Grant Jones drove home Dustin Mitchell who led off the inning with a triple to dead center.
Holding a 7-6 lead, the Blue Dogs' bullpen in Connor Neuman, Jonathan Fincher and Kolton Vermillion combined for four innings of scoreless baseball and gave up just three hits and a pair of walks to close out the game.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Blue Dogs added some insurance with another four-run inning, this time highlighted by a two-run blast for Clayton, for his third hit and third RBI of the contest.
Neuman earned the victory for the Blue Dogsm tossing two innings of scoreless relief.
“Congratulations to the Blue Dogs as they earned this series triumph and the fruits of victory that come with it,” Burroughs concluded.