HOUSTON – Marshall Boggs blasted a three-run home run in the seventh inning to lift Louisiana Tech to a 6-4 win over Rice on Friday night at Reckling Park.
Casey Sutton picked up his fourth win of the season, getting a quality start with his 6.1 innings pitched and allowing just three earned runs.
Nate Harris got his Conference USA-leading eighth save tossing a scoreless ninth inning.
Kent Hasler came on in relief and registered a hold. He was the gap between Sutton and Harris, tossing 1.2 innings and striking out four while not allowing a run.
Rice got the scoring started in the bottom of the second on an infield-RBI single from Charlie Warren.
The Bulldogs tied things up at 1-1 in the top of the fourth on a two-out, RBI-double down the left field line by Sean Ullrich, but the tie was short-lived as Rice scored a run of their own in the bottom half of the fourth to regain a 2-1 lead.
After the Bulldogs got runners on first and second with nobody out in the top of the fifth, it appeared as if the ‘Dogs may come up empty handed, but Chase Lunceford delivered a two-strike, two-out, two-run triple down the right field line to give Louisiana Tech a 3-2 lead.
Rice tied things up in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly from Dominic DiCaprio after a leadoff triple from Dane Myers.
Dalton Skelton opened the top of the seventh with an opposite field single to left and Jordan Washam advanced him into scoring position with a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt. The Owls had seen enough of Lunceford and chose to intentionally walk the senior with two outs in the inning, choosing to face Marshall Boggs instead.
The Conference USA leader in RBI collected three more as Boggs made the Owls pay. The Cleveland, Miss. native belted a two-out, three-run home run over the wall in left field to give Louisiana Tech a 6-3 lead over Rice.
Rice tacked on a late run, but Hasler and Harris slammed the door.
Louisiana Tech and Rice will meet for game two of the series tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. at Reckiling Park in Houston. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 97.7 and streamed on CUSA.TV.