TEDDY ALLEN: Even Movie Stars Get a Pimple
March 5, 2018
Written by Teddy Allen - LA Tech Communications
After a Friday and Saturday of good weather and big crowds, cold hit Dr Pepper Ballpark and then occasional rain, so it was always damp. Tech got the first two guys on in the top of the first, then left the bases loaded when a 2-2 line drive was right at the Bears’ shortstop. Tech popped up a sacrifice bunt on a 1-0 count. Got picked off base in the second. Rushed while fielding a sacrifice bunt when rushing was not required. Worst of all, the strike zone was the size of a pot holder.
Somewhere in the middle of all this, Tech coach Lane Burroughs leaned his neck toward whoever was standing closest to him and resigned himself to reality. “Well,” he said, without taking his eyes off the field, “we’re gonna be here a while.”
“A while” turned out to be three hours and 15 minutes. It just seemed longer.
It wasn’t a Chamber-of-Commerce afternoon for the town or for the Bulldogs, but hey, even a movie star gets a pimple now and then. And maybe this new pack of ’Dogs learned something in the first week of March that will help them when the heat is turned up in April and May.
“To be a great team you’ve got to finish it off,” said Burroughs, whose team went into the four-team round robin 2-0. “Great teams bring it every day. I felt like we played sluggish today, not with a lot of energy; that falls back on me. We’ll take care of it; we’ll address it. Again, I’m not so worried about the scoreboard the first week in March. What concerns me is how we played.”
Because the Bulldogs left 12 runners on, they had no margin for error. The result? They came in second.
“When we struggle, you can go back to that,” he said. “We leave a small army on base. It’s a matter of not cashing in. We cashed in Friday. And we did Saturday. We didn’t today.”
In Frisco’s big picture, the Bulldogs lost the battle Sunday, but Tech won the war. They beat No. 9 Texas A&M Friday, 4-2, behind the pitching of junior righthander Matt Miller, who made the All Frisco Classic Team along with teammates Hunter Wells, Logan Bailey, and Tanner Huddleston, who was named the Classic’s MVP; the junior third baseman hit 3-run homers both Friday and Saturday and knocked in the team’s only run Sunday.
“It’s one of those weird deals,” Burroughs said. “We didn’t play well today, but you have to take away some confidence from this because A&M has a great club and we went toe-to-toe with them.”
Then Tech beat Cal, 10-6, Saturday. That was before the crawfish boil hosted by Tech’s Dallas-Fort Worth Alumni Chapter on the outfield patio. More than 200 attended.
“We are proud of this chapter’s leadership and members who are providing great opportunities for Louisiana Tech Alumni to engage through events like the crawfish boil, send-off parties, watch parties, and more,” Michele Robinson, Tech’s Director of Alumni Engagement and Regional Development, said. “Frisco has turned into Bulldog Country.”
Some of that has to do with Tech’s football Bulldogs beating SMU, 51-10, in the first inaugural Frisco Bowl in December. Bulldog fans discovered that Frisco, one of the fastest growing areas in America, is a fun place to be. Many will be in town again Wednesday when the C-USA Basketball Tournament begins in the Ford Center at the Star. The 10th seeded Dunkin’ Dogs play No. 7-seed North Texas at 8:30 Wednesday night, and the No. 3-seed Lady Techsters will play the winner of the Charlotte (6) vs. North Texas (11) game Thursday at 2.
Another home run for Tech this weekend: the Diamond Dogs’ experience in Frisco is not unlike the Dunkin Dogs and Lady Techsters softball early-season trips to multiple games in Mexico. It’s competition, but it’s education too.
“When we have the opportunity to give our student-athletes an unparalleled education experience, we need to do that,” said athletics director Tommy McClelland. “We have to be budget-minded, but when we can, when we follow the concept and principal of giving our students an opportunity to visit places and be exposed to cultures they will probably never be exposed to again, we grab that opportunity.
“Frisco is an area where the focus is not only on the recruiting of student-athletes but also on the recruiting of our general student population,” he said. “Frisco has been very kind to us. We won the Frisco Bowl here in December; that was a great experience. The Frisco Classic has been the same, really just another example of the success we’ve had and the hospitality we’ve been shown in Frisco. We’ll continue to schedule events in the Dallas-Frisco-Fort Worth area whenever we can for our fans and for the opportunity it gives us to showcase to the students and student-athletes and their families in this wonderful area what Louisiana Tech is.”
“I told the gang in charge here that if they needed a spokesman for the Frisco Classic, just ask me,” Burroughs said. “From the time we got off the bus to taking us to the field and everything in between, they’ve treated our guys like big leaguers. Rolled out the red carpet. This time of year, the Frisco Classic is the place you want to be.”
Even though the Bulldogs didn’t play well Sunday, Burroughs feels his team learned something about itself in Frisco.
“Sundays are about toughness,” he said. “Championships are won on Sundays. It’s a kind of a mindset. We played well on Sunday the first weekend (of the season). We haven’t the last two Sundays. That’s what’s disappointing. We look like gangbusters Friday and Saturday and come out and lay an egg Sunday.
“They’re learning that this isn’t junior college or high school,” he said. “This is Division I. The team in the other dugout, they’re pretty good. They’re not gonna lay down for you.”
The Bulldogs are at home Tuesday against Grambling at 6 and in Monroe to play ULM Wednesday at 6. Then Houston Baptist is in Ruston for a three-game set beginning Friday at 6.
“Like I told them,” Burroughs said, “it doesn’t get any easier. We’ve got to find a way to win on Sundays.”
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