Box Score May 13, 2018
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Louisiana Tech baseball team saw four RBI from Parker Bates, and a pair of solid pitching performances from starter Logan Bailey and reliever David Leal, en route to an 8-3 Sunday win over No. 9 Southern Miss at Pete Taylor Park.
LA Tech (35-18, 18-9 C-USA) clinched its seventh Conference USA series triumph with the Sunday win, taking the weekend set, two games to one. The series triumph snapped a streak of 12 consecutive series wins for Southern Miss (36-14, 20-6 C-USA), dating back to April of 2017.
"I couldn't be more proud of a team," head coach Lane Burroughs said. "We got our teeth kicked in yesterday. I told our guys that's a life lesson right there. You're going to get knocked down in life, but it's all about how you respond. I told them to treat this like a Super Regional - if you win this series you go to Omaha. I'm so proud of them for coming in this environment and winning this series this weekend. They (Southern Miss) came in here today expecting a party, and we didn't let that happen on our watch. We weren't going to let them clinch the league against us, and I thought we were locked in from the very first pitch, and it showed."
The Bulldogs are now back to two and a half games behind conference-leading Southern Miss, and trail Florida Atlantic by just percentage points for second place in the league.
After taking a disappointing 16-1 run-rule loss in eight innings on Saturday afternoon, the Bulldog offense responded in a big way - staking an early 5-0 lead in Sunday's contest.
Tech scored three in the first inning after an RBI single from Parker Bates, a bases-loaded walk from Mason Mallard, and a sac fly to left from Tanner Huddleston. Southern Miss starter Cody Carroll allowed four of the first five batters he faced to reach, and was quickly pulled after a walk to Steele Netterville.
With a 3-0 lead, Tech starter Logan Bailey worked a pair of quick and painless innings, retiring the Southern Miss side in order in both the first and the second.
In the top of the second, Tech tacked on two more after a Bates' double to right center plated Young and Wells, who had both singled with one out.
With a 5-0 lead Bailey ran into his first difficulty of the day in the third. The left-hander got two quick outs, but a double from LeeMarcus Boyd, and a walk from Gabe Montenegro put two runners on. Luke Reynolds then singled to right. Boyd took a big turn at third, and Young, thinking Boyd was coming home, rushed a throw to the plate, which sailed past Clayton, allowing a run to score. Bailey was then called for a balk, allowing Montenegro to come home from third. However, the southpaw got a big swinging strikeout of the cleanup man Erick Hoard, to end the inning.
The Golden Eagles saw an RBI groundout from Matt Wallner in the fifth, cutting the Tech lead to two, at 5-3.
Bailey exited after five complete innings, allowing just the three runs (two earned), while walking two and striking out seven.
Fellow left-hander David Leal made his first relief appearance of the season, entering for Bailey in the sixth. Leal was dominant over the Golden Eagle lineup, allowing just two hits, while striking out five and walking one.
Bailey improved to 8-1 on the season, while Leal picked up his first save. Carroll was saddled with the loss, making it through just a third of an inning.
Tech padded its lead in the top of the eighth, as Southern Miss went to their closer in Wallner. The Bulldogs greeted the usual centerfielder with a pair of back-to-back singles from Huddleston and Robinson. Chris Clayton successfully moved both runners into scoring position via a sac bunt, and then newfound leadoff man Taylor Young singled back up through the middle of a drawn-in infield, scoring both Huddleston and Robinson - extending Tech's lead to five at 8-3.
Leal worked a painless ninth, while locking down the big weekend triumph for the Bulldogs.
Leading off for the first time this season, Young went 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored three runs. The top four hitters in the Tech lineup combined for eight of the team's 11 hits and scored six runs.
Tech returns to action in the final regular-season series of the year against Old Dominion in Ruston. The three-game set is set for Thursday, May 10 at 6 p.m., Friday, May 11 at 6 p.m. and Saturday May 12 at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs will recognize its five seniors prior to Friday's first pitch.