April 12, 2015
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Missed opportunities told the story for Louisiana Tech Sunday as the Bulldogs fell, 3-2, to Middle Tennessee in the series finale at Reese Smith Jr. Field in Murfreesboro.
Despite a terrific pitching performance by Laetten Galbraith, LA Tech (16-17, 3-11 C-USA) could never catch up offensively as Middle Tennessee (19-16, 11-4 C-USA) led for the entire game, while the Bulldogs were left chipping away at the lead until the end. LA Tech spent the majority of Sunday's game looking for timely hits, but the bounces never went the Bulldogs' way despite Tech getting the lead-off hitter on base in six straight innings from the third to the eighth.
Galbraith had a memorable day on the mound as the senior threw a career-high eight innings, while allowing three runs on seven hits and a career-best seven strikeouts. The right-hander was charged with the loss to move to 3-5 on the season.
Blake Stansberry (3-0) picked up the win for the Blue Raiders after coming on in the fifth and holding LA Tech scoreless on two hits in two innings of relief work. Left-hander Tyler Troutt received a no decision after pitching four innings and giving up one run on four hits. Kooper Kessler (4) picked up a three-inning save for the Blue Raiders after allowing a run on two hits in the final third of the game.
Middle Tennessee turned the tables on the Bulldogs for once this weekend and took the first lead of the game in the third thanks to a solo home run by Kaleb King, a pair of base hits and ground ball by Dustin Delgado for a 2-0 lead over LA Tech.
LA Tech had a golden opportunity to cut the lead to one in the top of the fourth when Taylor Nichols led off the inning with a stand-up triple to right field, but the senior was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a passed ball by the Middle Tennessee catcher.
The Bulldogs cut Middle Tennessee's lead to one run in the top half of the fifth after Bre'shon Kimbell led off the frame with a walk, followed by a double off the right field wall by Colby Johnson. Chandler Hall drew a one-out walk to load the bases to bring up Bryce Stark, who singled to right to bring home a run and make it just a 2-1 deficit for LA Tech. With the bases still loaded, the Bulldogs had a chance to tie the ballgame, but a fly ball to center and strikeout ended the threat.
In the bottom of the fifth, Middle Tennessee took advantage of LA Tech's missed opportunity and extended its lead to 3-1 after back-to-back singles by King and Kevin Dupree brought up Brad Jarreau at the top of the order, who earned an RBI on a fielder's choice ground ball.
LA Tech once again cut Middle Tennessee's lead to one after Johnson led off the inning with a single, advanced to third on back-to-back ground balls, then scored on another RBI single to right by Stark to make it a 3-2 game in favor of the Blue Raiders.
Stark drove in both runs for the Bulldogs in Sunday's finale as the junior centerfielder was 3-for-4 with two RBI. Johnson also had a multiple-hit game with a 2-for-4 effort, a double and run scored. Despite the loss, LA Tech out-hit the Blue Raiders with eight base knocks to MT's seven.
Kaleb King led the Blue Raiders after going a perfect 3-for-3 with a home run and two runs scored. Kevin Dupree also had two base hits for Middle Tennessee in the series finale, while Brad Jarreau and Dustin Delgado each drove in a run for the home team.
The Bulldogs return to the diamond Friday, April 17 as LA Tech hosts UAB in a three-game Conference USA home series at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston.
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