May 2, 2015
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech and UTSA combined for 23 runs on 28 hits Saturday afternoon, but it was Jacob Derouen's two-run double off the left field wall in the eighth inning that completed the comeback and gave the Bulldogs a 12-11 victory.
LA Tech (22-22, 6-16 C-USA) and UTSA (28-19, 13-10 C-USA) went back and forth for over three hours in a wild game at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park, but the Bulldogs put up nine runs in the third inning alone before scoring three in the bottom of the eighth to regain the lead and helped Tech tie the series with the Roadrunners.
"We could have easily folded in this game and given up, but we have great senior leadership and character on this team and we made it happen there in the eighth, which was huge for our team," head coach Greg Goff said. "It was great to see Jacob come through with the big hit to get the win for us today and I'm just really proud of the effort all of our guys showed out there today."
Adam Atkins came on in the eighth as LA Tech's third pitcher of the afternoon and pitched two full innings to earn the win, despite giving up three runs to UTSA in the eighth to put the Roadrunners ahead by two. Atkins (3-4) picked up the win after coming back out in the ninth and retired UTSA with ease to clinch the victory for LA Tech. Austin Greer stopped the bleeding for the Bulldogs in relief of starter Galbraith, as the right-hander came on in the third and allowed two runs on three hits in 4.2 innings Saturday.
The Roadrunners sent five different pitchers to the mound Saturday, but it was right-hander Chance Kirby (4-2) who was charged with the loss for UTSA after allowing two runs on three hits in the eighth inning.
With LA Tech leading UTSA, 9-7, after seven innings of play, Atkins came on in the top half of the eighth as the third pitcher of the day for LA Tech with a runner on first and no outs. UTSA responded by loading the bases on a fielder's choice, double to right-center and intentional walks before a ground ball to shortstop cut Tech's lead to 9-8. Another intentional walk loaded the bases a second time and set up UTSA catcher John Bormann's bases-clearing double to put the Roadrunners ahead, 11-9.
UTSA scored six runs in the first three innings against Galbraith, who surrendered six runs to the Roadrunners in 2.1 innings on the mound to give UTSA an early 6-0 lead after two and a half innings.
That is when the Bulldog bats came alive as LA Tech sent 13 batters to the plate and scored nine runs in the third inning to jump past UTSA and take a 9-6 lead in the game. In the third inning alone, Taylor Love totaled four runs batted in thanks to a two-run home run early in the frame and a two-run triple down the right field line later in the third to give Tech an 8-6 advantage and the Bulldogs' first lead of the series. Bre'shon Kimbell also showed some power in the third with two doubles in the inning, the second of which drove in the ninth run of the game for LA Tech.
UTSA cut the lead to 9-7 in the top of the sixth when the lead-off batter, Jesse Baker, hit a solo home run that just cleared the wall in right-center to make it a two-run ballgame. After the Roadrunners rallied to plate four runs in the top of the eighth, LA Tech responded by sending seven batters to the dish in the bottom of the inning to complete the comeback.
The bottom of the eighth began with pinch hitter Conner Tobias slapping a single into centerfield, which forced a pitching change for the Roadrunners. After the switch on the mound, Tobias tagged up and took second base on a deep fly ball to left by Love to give the Bulldogs a runner in scoring position with Tech trailing, 11-9. Kimbell followed up with a single to right field, his third hit of the game, to put runners on the corners with one out. Nichols then came through with an RBI single back up the middle to cut the lead to one, but it was Derouen's two-run double off the wall in left field that gave LA Tech a 12-11 lead and the eventual victory over UTSA.
Love drove in a team-high four runs in the game with his home run and triple, as the second baseman was 2-for-5 with two runs scored on the day. For the second game in a row, Kimbell recorded three base hits in a 3-for-5 effort, including two doubles, an RBI and two runs. Brent Diaz also totaled two of LA Tech's 14 total hits, while Derouen knocked in the two game-winning runs in the eighth.
UTSA matched Tech with 14 hits in the game, while five different Roadrunners recorded two hits apiece and Bormann led the team with three RBIs on the day. Kevin Markham and Geonte Jackson each had two RBIs as well for TUSA.
The rubber match of the series is set to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston.
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