RUSTON, La. – The Louisiana Tech baseball team saw two home runs each for both junior centerfielder Parker Bates and sophomore left fielder Steele Netterville, en route to a 10-4 victory over the visiting McNeese State Cowboys on Wednesday evening from J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
“It was good to see our guys come out and put up a six spot there in the first,” head coach Lane Burroughs said. “I’m very proud of all our hitters – not just the way they hit, but the way they came to the plate and grinded out at bats. We’re playing pretty good baseball right now, and it’s good to keep this homestand rolling.”
The Bulldogs (18-10) exploded out of the gates, plating six runs in the bottom of the first inning off McNeese (15-14) starter, Brett Payne. The freshman right-hander failed to record an out as the first four Bulldogs reached to begin the game. Then, after a bases-loaded walk from Parker Bates brought home the game’s first run, Steele Netterville greeted the new pitcher, McLemore, with a first-pitch grand slam moonshot to left, giving Tech a 5-0 lead before the Cowboys recorded an out.
Later in the frame, Tech got a bunt single from Mason Robinson and a double from Tanner Huddleston, before catcher Chris Clayton brought home the sixth run of the inning via a sac fly to left.
After plating six in the opening inning, Tech starter David Leal headed back out for his second inning of work. Leal, making his first start of the 2019 season, after suffering a broken bone in his foot to begin the year, made it through two innings, while two runs on five hits. The left-hander struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Junior Tyler Follis gave the ‘Dogs 2.1 innings of solid relief allowing just one run on three hits, while striking out two.
The Bulldogs would tack on a couple more runs in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out, two-run blast to right center from Bates, extending the Tech lead to 8-2.
Junior southpaw Kyle Griffen entered in relief of Follis, and delivered a brilliant performance out of the pen, pitching 4.0 innings, while allowing just one unearned run, striking out four, and did not walk a batter. Griffen threw 52 pitches, 39 of which went for strikes, while he picked up his fourth win of the year (4-2).
Leading 8-4, the Bulldogs picked up some insurance in the bottom of the seventh, as Bates and Netterville cranked back-to-back solo shots, giving Tech a 10-5 lead.
The two combined for nine of Tech’s 10 RBI, and scored half of the Bulldog’s runs.
The four Tech pitchers combined to strike out nine Cowboy batters, while walking just two.
The Bulldogs return to action this weekend, hosting UTSA in a three-game Conference USA series from J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.