LA Tech rolls in series opener at FIU, 14-6

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MIAMI, Fla. – The Bulldogs made it six in a row on Friday night as Louisiana Tech (31-14, 12-10 C-USA) defeated FIU (26-22, 10-12 C-USA), 14-6, in the series opener in Miami, Florida.

Brent Diaz, Raphael Gladu and Sean Ullrich all provided multiple hits and multiple RBI for the Bulldogs in the win. Diaz, who is a native of Miami, hit a three-run home run, a two-run double and a triple, ending his night just a single short of the cycle.

Sean Ullrich belted two, RBI-doubles, while Gladu belted a two-RBI triple, double and walked three times.

Chase Lunceford blasted a two-run home run in the ninth and walked three times. Dalton Skelton also drove in multiple runs on a two-RBI single in the seventh inning.

Eight of the Diamond ‘Dogs 12 hits went for extra bases in the victory.

In his first career start, freshman Kyle Griffen picked up his fifth win of the season, tossing five innings, striking out five Panthers and giving up just three runs. The left-hander has appeared in just seven games this year and has five wins in those seven games.

FIU got on the board first with a couple of runs in the bottom of the second, but it did not take long for the Bulldogs to respond.

The first five Louisiana Tech hitters of the third inning reached base and right in the middle of that, Brent Diaz blasted a three-run home run to give Louisiana Tech a 3-2 lead.

After Griffen tossed a scoreless third, the Bulldogs came back and added two more runs in the top of the fourth. J’Mar Smith and Parker Bates both reached two outs in the inning and Raphael Gladu came through with a two-run double to right center that extended the LA Tech lead to 5-2.

After FIU, tacked on a run of their own in the bottom half of the frame, the Bulldogs got it right back in the fifth. Marshall Boggs drew a one-out walk, stole second and then came around to score on an RBI-double from Sean Ullrich. After five innings, Louisiana Tech lead FIU, 6-3.

The Bulldogs got some insurance in the top of the seventh as Diaz opened the frame with a triple off of the top of the centerfield wall. He would score two pitches later on a wild pitch, extending the lead to 7-3. Following a Lunceford walk and Jonathan Washam single, Ullrich delivered his second RBI-double of the day down the right field line scoring Lunceford.

Dalton Skelton then sent the next pitch back up the middle to bust the game open and make it 10-3 as both Washam and Ullrich scored.

Louisiana Tech put up for more runs in the ninth inning on a two-RBI double from Brent Diaz and a two-run home run from Chase Lunceford. With that four-run frame in the ninth inning, Louisiana Tech has now registered eight four-plus run innings in the past 10 games alone.

Louisiana Tech registered at least 10 hits for the ninth time in the past ten games.

Nate Harris will get the start in tomorrow night’s game against FIU as the Bulldogs will try and take the series. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT and the game will be broadcast on ESPN 97.7. Saturday’s game will not be available on CUSA.TV.

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