Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Home » College baseball: Tech opens conference play with victory

College baseball: Tech opens conference play with victory

by Russell Hedges

Louisiana Tech Athletic Communications

RUSTON — A pair of early runs by Louisiana Tech was enough on a chilly Friday night as stellar pitching and defense did the rest in a 2-1 victory over Charlotte to open up Conference USA play at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park. 

All three of those phases – hitting, pitching, and defense – were embodied by one Ethan Bates.

First, it was the defense as he made a sliding stop to his left at third base, which he threw over to second to get the force out to end the top of the first for Charlotte (6-11, 0-1 C-USA).

Then in his first at-bat, he sent a full-count pitch into the Kennel for a solo blast to give LA Tech (10-8, 1-0 C-USA) the early lead. 

Fast forward to the ninth inning with the Bulldogs holding a slim 2-1 edge, and all Bates did was throw straight gas, striking out not one, not two, but three batters to pick up his third save of the season.

In between the first and ninth inning offensively was a lot of quality at-bats against Wyatt Hudepohl (1-2) who was coming off a 17-strikeout performance in his last outing on the bump. The ‘Dogs only punched out four times while also getting an RBI single by the freshman Karson Evansin the third. 

Meanwhile, Jonathan Fincher (3-2) answered the call on the mound for LA Tech. The C-USA Preseason Pitcher of the Year showed his moxie, going 6.0 innings while allowing just one run (two-out RBI single by Cam Fisher in the fifth) on five scattered hits with four strikeouts.

Landon Tomkins was the bridge between Fincher and Bates, going 2.0 innings of shutout baseball that included two much-needed double plays. (Speaking of defense, must also mention the web gem of the night by Jonathan Hogart who in the third inning chased down a ball down the right field line, making the diving grab).

Related Posts