May 4, 2014
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - In a game that almost reached its three and a half hour time limit, Louisiana Tech fought off a ninth-inning rally by Marshall to defeat the Thundering Herd, 8-7, Sunday afternoon in a lengthy series finale.
With a 1:30 p.m. CT curfew set due to the Bulldogs' travel schedule, Sunday's game lasted three hours and 20 minutes before LA Tech (15-29, 5-19 C-USA) came away with its first victory of the weekend over Marshall (20-25, 10-13 C-USA).
LA Tech and Marshall took turns scoring in the early innings, but it was the Bulldogs that pulled away with three runs in the sixth inning to hold a commanding lead over the Herd. Tech added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, which proved important after Marshall mounted a late rally in the bottom of the ninth to score three runs and make it an 8-7 ball game.
"All three of the games this weekend were a little crazy, but thankfully we came out on top today," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "Our guys came out today and played hard once again, and I love that about them. I thought Braden Bristo pitched well early on to get out of some jams, but then Mark Baughman came in and just pitched outstanding to help get the win."
Freshman left-hander Mark Baughman (2-2) came on in relief in the fourth inning and earned the victory for the Bulldogs, his second of the season. Baughman allowed just one run on three hits in 5.0 innings on the mound, while striking out one in the win.
Braden Bristo started for Tech and received a no decision after giving up three runs - two earned - on five hits in three innings. Adam Derouen came on in relief to start the ninth and gave up three runs on two hits, before Laetten Galbraith (5) came in to face one batter and earn his fifth save of the season.
The Thundering Herd used a total of 10 pitchers on the day, with Ryan Hopkins (1-4) being charged with the loss after giving up one run on two hits after facing four batters in the fifth inning. In the sixth inning alone, Marshall used five pitchers that combined to give up three LA Tech runs on three hits and three walks.
With one out in the top of the first, the Bulldogs wasted no time making a dent in the scoreboard after Ryan Jones hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot to left field, to put LA Tech up 1-0 over Marshall.
The Herd responded in the bottom half of the inning after Corey Bird reached base on a lead-off walk and later scored on a wild pitch by Bristo to knot the game at 1-1. Marshall scored once again in the bottom of the second when Johnathan Beary was hit by a pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly ball by Robert Fajardo , but the back-and-forth continued after Tech scored two more runs in the third to take a 3-2 lead thanks to a wild pitch and an RBI single by Tyler Qualls.
Marshall tied it up once again at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth when Fajardo led off the frame with a double, followed by an RBI single by Bird. The score remained 3-3 until the fifth inning, when a one-out double to left field by Jones set up Kimbell's go-ahead RBI single to make it a 4-3 advantage for Tech.
The Bulldogs followed up by doing the most damage in the sixth inning, beginning with a two-out, two-RBI single by Chandler Hall to give Tech a 6-3 lead. Johnson was then hit by a pitch, followed by Jones who walked to load the bases. Kimbell then drew a two-out, bases loaded walk to score the Bulldogs' third and final run of the inning, good for a 7-3 LA Tech lead.
In the eighth, Marshall's Matt Reed led off the inning with a double and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Chase Vogelbach to cut Tech's lead to 7-4, but the Bulldogs added their eighth run of the game on an RBI double by Stephen Gandy in the ninth for a four-run lead.
With three outs left to play, Marshall sent six batters to the plate and scored three runs on two hits thanks to a two-run triple by TJ Diffenderfer to make it 8-7. That is when Galbraith came on with two outs and the lead cut to one run to face Reed, who grounded out to second to clinch the win.
Jones had a career day at the plate for the Bulldogs after putting together a perfect 3-for-3 performance at the dish with a home run, double, three walks, an RBI and three runs. Hall had a 2-for-5 effort on the day with two RBI and two runs, while Gandy had two hits and an RBI to help lead Tech to victory. Kimbell had one hit and two RBI in the win.
LA Tech out-hit Marshall 12 to 10 and walked nine times on the day compared to five walks by Herd batters.
The Bulldogs now return to Ruston to host Charlotte in the final home series of the 2014 season beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 9 at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
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