RUSTON, La. – On Tuesday night, every fan at the Love Shack held their breath as senior second baseman Jordan Washam’s hammered 0-2 pitch sailed through the air in center field… A thud of the wall in centerfield and the Louisiana Tech bench cleared as the Diamond Dogs had secured an 8-7 win over No. 23 McNeese State.
Tied 7-7 entering the top of the ninth inning, LA Tech and McNeese’s dogfight came to a close on a walk off double from Jordan Washam that scored pinch-runner J’Mar Smith from second base.
The win marked the Bulldogs third over a top-25 opponent this season, as the Bulldogs improved to 24-13 on the season. The Cowboys fell to an impressive 26-10 on the year.
Kyle Griffen picked up his first career win in exciting fashion, shutting down a McNeese threat in the top of the ninth over a former high school teammate.
McNeese got things started in the top of the first, putting up a three-spot, similar to what Louisiana Tech did earlier this season in a loss to McNeese at Joe Miller Park in Lake Charles.
LA Tech made their first noise of the night in the top of third when Raphael Gladu got things started with a two-out single to left field. Brent Diaz found the gap in right center for an RBI-double.
Chase Lunceford who homered in two-of-three games against Old Dominion this weekend, planted one just beyond the wall in left field for a two-run shot that put LA Tech ahead 4-3.
McNeese immediately responded with another three-run frame in the fourth and one run in the fifth to put the nationally-ranked Cowboys ahead 7-4.
After two quick outs in the bottom of the fifth, Lunceford and Sean Ullrich drew back-to-back walks and Jonathan Washam came through with a two-out RBI-single that brought home Lunceford and cut the deficit to 7-5.
Still trailing 7-5 in the bottom of the seventh, Lunceford opened up the frame with a towering solo shot to right field which inched the Bulldogs closer at 7-6. The Diamond ‘Dogs would tie it on a fielders choice from Dalton Skelton. Ullrich easily scored from third and the game was knotted at 7-7.
Graham Ahlrich entered the game in the top of the fifth and was absolutely dominant for Louisiana Tech. The right-hander tossed 4.2 frames and allowed just 2 hits and no runs over that stretch. Those 4.2 scoreless frames gave the Bulldogs time to crawl back into it.
After McNeese put a couple of runners on with two outs in the top of the ninth, Burroughs called on the freshman-lefty, Griffen, to come on and get the final out. McNeese pinch-hit Austin Nelson, a former high school teammate of Griffen at Sulphur High School. Griffen got Nelson to fly out to center to send the game to the bottom of the ninth.
The bottom of the ninth started with Jonathan Washam singling up the middle. After a perfectly-executed sacrifice bunt from Parker Bates, Jordan Washam came through and got the job done.
Louisiana Tech will be back in action tomorrow night when the Bulldogs travel to Little Rock for a midweek contest with the Trojans. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 97.7.