RUSTON, La. – For the fifth time in as many contests in 2018, the Louisiana Tech baseball team received a quality start en route to a 5-1 home-opening win over McNeese on Tuesday evening from J.C. Love Field in front of a crowd of 1,920.
“David Leal was outstanding,” head coach Lane Burroughs said. “That’s exactly what he’s been doing in practice and inter-squads throughout the fall and into the spring. That’s exactly what you saw him do tonight. It’s not electric stuff, but the guy competes and throws strikes. I’m proud of him. Quinton Logan was great again, just like he was at Pepperdine. We had the big inning and won the ballgame, which is always encouraging. To be a great club, we’ve got to put people away. They’re a very good team over there. You can’t let them hang around.”
David Leal picked up the win on the mound for the Bulldogs (3-2), pitching seven quality innings, while allowing just one unearned run and scattering three hits. Leal struck out six and walked none, holding the potent Cowboy’s offense to its worst performance of the early season.
The Cowboys got on the board in the first after a wild pitch scored McNeese’s Shan Selman who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning. Leal struck out Carson Maxwell looking for the final out of the inning, limiting the damage to just one run.
After a quiet bottom of the first, the Tech offense roared to life in the second. Tech catcher Chris Clayton turned on a fastball driving it deep to left field for Tech’s second home run of the season, and knotting the game at one.
Centerfielder Parker Bates then walked and stole second, and with two outs, freshman DH Steele Netterville came through with an RBI single up the middle. After a Mason Robinson singled and both runners moved into scoring position courtesy of a wild pitch, second baseman Hunter Wells gave Tech some breathing room with a two-RBI single into left.
With a 4-1 lead, the Tech offense sensed that the McNees freshman Goree was quickly tiring and capitalized. Goree walked three of his next four hitters, including a bases-loaded free pass to Clayton who picked up his second RBI of the inning in as many tries.
Heading to the mound with a 5-1 lead seemingly energized Leal, who dispatched of the remaining McNeese hitters allowing just two more hits through the seventh inning.
Junior Quinton Logan made his second appearance of the season and was equally brilliant as his first. The southpaw hurled two innings of scoreless relief, allowing just one hit while striking out a pair.
Netterville led the Bulldog offense, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Tech also walked five times as a team.
McNeese was held to just four hits and did not draw a walk. Goree drew the loss for the Cowboys as he made it through just 1.2 innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits while walking four.
Tech returns to action with a three-game series against SIU-Edwardsville starting Friday evening at 6 p.m. from the Love Shack.