By: Tyler Hotz (Louisiana Tech Athletic Communications)
RUSTON, La (KMSS/KTAL) – Manny Garcia and Philip Matulia both recorded two-RBI extra-base hits in a four-run first inning as Louisiana Tech’s baseball team completed a weekend sweep of Southern in Sunday’s 12-4 victory at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
After Taylor Young and Steele Netterville reached via a single and walk to lead off the inning, Garcia smacked a double down the left field line to bring home Young and Netterville to make it 2-0 in the first inning. Matulia doubled Tech’s lead just one at-bat later with a two-run blast to right field, marking his second straight game with a two-run shot to right field.
The Bulldogs scored the first seven runs in Sunday’s victory. Starting pitcher Jarret Whorff earned the win after striking out four Jaguars in five innings.
“I thought we got out of the gates pretty quickly today,” head coach Lane Burroughs said. “Matulia drove one out of the yard, and we got the four spot in the first.”
“I felt like today was more of a complete game. I thought we defended well and pitched pretty well and swung the bats and ran the bases well.”
The Diamond Dogs added on in the second when Parker Bates smacked his fourth double of the year, plating Hunter Wells and Young to make it 6-0 after two frames. LA Tech tacked on its seventh run of the ballgame in the third when shortstop Alex Ray dropped a single into left field, executing the hit-and-run to perfection with Matulia easily scoring from second after taking off when the ball headed toward the plate.
Southern produced all four of its runs in the fifth inning. Designated hitter O’Neill Burgos tallied a homer to right field to trim Tech’s lead to 7-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Pinch hitter Ben Brantley pushed one back across for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the fifth, tallying an RBI single to center field to bring home Matulia from second base. Netterville then blasted a two-run home run to left field in the sixth inning to make it 10-4 Bulldogs after six.
LA Tech tallied its final two runs of the afternoon in the eighth with another RBI double from Garcia, scoring Netterville all the way from first base. Matulia, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI on Sunday, drove in LA Tech’s final run of the ballgame with a single to center field.
After Whorff delivered five innings on the mound, Tyler Follis, Kyle Griffen and freshman Wesley Kreger closed out the final four innings for LA Tech. Follis got out of a runners-at-the-corners’ situation with a 6-4-3 double play to end the sixth.
Griffen recorded two scoreless frames while allowing just one hit between the seventh and eighth innings. Kreger made his Bulldog debut in the ninth, registering the final three outs while also notching his first-career strikeout.
Six Diamond Dogs recorded multi-hit performances, including Young and Matulia each recording three base knocks apiece. Netterville and Matulia tied for a team-best three runs scored in Sunday’s series finale.
The Bulldogs will take the field again on Tuesday at UL-Lafayette. First pitch for Tuesday’s game at Russo Park is set for 6 p.m.