ARLINGTON, Texas – On Sunday afternoon at Clay Gould Ballpark, Louisiana Tech moved to 7-0 on the season, for the first time in program history, with a 6-4 win over UT-Arlington in Arlington, Texas.
Three Bulldogs, Brent Diaz, Dalton Skelton and Sean Ullrich all registered at least three hits in the victory, that saw the Bulldogs come up with some late innings magic for the fourth consecutive game.
“I am so proud of our guys for persevering,” head coach Lane Burroughs started. “We could have folded the tent in this one, saying we are 6-0… 6-1 doesn’t sound bad. They battled through it and I could not be prouder of our team. That is what championship teams do. They find a way. Sunday is about toughness and I think we showed some toughness today.”
Cameron Linck got the start for the Bulldogs and went 4.1 innings, not allowing a run over that stretch.
Louisiana Tech got on the board first, for the first time this weekend in the top of the second inning.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the inning, Skelton sent one back up the middle for an RBI-single which scored Raphael Gladu and gave the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs struck for two more in the top of the third inning, when Brent Diaz’s leadoff single was followed by a two-out, two-run home run from Chase Lunceford over the right field wall.
Linck’s day came to an end with one out in the bottom of the fifth, while the Mavericks had runners on first and second. Austin Harrison came on in relief and induced a 5-4-3 double play on his first pitch to retire the side and escape the jam unscathed.
Jonathan Washam was hit by a pitch to start the top of the sixth and Sean Ullrich followed him with a single through the left side. Skelton moved the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and Jonathan Washam scored on a ground out from Jordan Washam.
“I thought through the first four innings, we were playing the best baseball we have played all year,” Burroughs said. “Marshall Boggs makes a sliding catch in right. We were turning double plays and having quality at bats, absolutely crushing some balls. We did not have a lot to show for it, because it was not a hitters’ day with the wind blowing in.”
A walk and a single to open the bottom of the sixth put runners on the corners with nobody out. Omar Salinas’ fielders choice brought home the Mavs first run of the game and the LA Tech lead to 4-1.
The Mavericks brought home three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, all with less than two outs. Looking to strike for more with the bases loaded, one out and the game knotted at 4-4, Burroughs called on Matt Miller who registered a strike out and a ground out to get out of the inning.
After a quiet ninth, the Bulldogs escaped a nightmare situation in the bottom of the tenth inning after UT-Arlington loaded the bases with one out. Hamilton induced a hard grounder to Skelton who flipped to Boggs and on to Daigle for the 6-4-3 double play to move the game to the 11th.
“Zach Hamilton was outstanding,” Burroughs continued. “That is the longest we have extended him this year. He has not pitched that much and he was filling up the zone.”
In the top of the 11th, Mason Robinson reached on an error to open the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Boggs. The Mavericks chose to intentionally walk Diaz, which brought up Cody Daigle who delivered an RBI-single up the middle to put Louisiana Tech back in front 5-4.
Gladu then added some insurance with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-4, Bulldogs.
Nate Harris came on to get the final three outs, registering his third save of the season.
Louisiana Tech will now turn its attention towards a pair of midweek games against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 28 and Wednesday March 1. First pitch on Tuesday is set for 6 p.m., while Wednesday’s first pitch is set for 3 p.m.
Both games will be televised by Cox Sports and broadcast live on ESPN 97.7.
A very limited number of tickets remain for both games and fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets as soon as possible. Students planning on attending these games will be highly encouraged to sit in the outfield areas.