By: Tyler Hotz (Louisiana Tech Athletics)
BATON ROUGE, La. (Louisiana Tech Athletics) – Despite tallying a run in each of the game’s first five innings, No. 14 Louisiana Tech’s offense couldn’t keep pace in an 16-8 shootout loss at LSU on Tuesday night. The midweek matchup was called off in the bottom of the seventh due to thunderstorms entering the Baton Rouge area.
The Bulldogs (33-13) raced out to a 4-0 lead behind two runs in the first, one run in the second and another run in the third. Leadoff batter Taylor Young set the tone for the Bulldogs’ offense in his first at-bat, lining a single to left field on a 1-2 pitch to open the ballgame. A walk from two-hole batter Hunter Wells and then another single from centerfielder Parker Bates loaded the bases for LA Tech with nobody out in the first frame.
A ground ball and then a passed ball on LSU catcher Jake Wyeth helped LA Tech score its pair of runs in the first. In the second, an RBI fielder’s choice from shortstop Alex Ray extended the visitor’s lead to 3-0.
Just three pitches into the third, the Diamond Dogs tacked on another run behind back-to-back doubles from Bates and first baseman Manny Garcia. Garcia’s two-bagger into the gap in left center allowed Bates to trot home from second, marking Garcia’s team-best 16th double of the season.
After LSU (30-18) trimmed LA Tech’s lead to one with three runs in the bottom of the third, catcher Jorge Corona quickly answered the Tigers’ scoring spurt with a leadoff home run on the first pitch in the fourth. The 405-foot shot marked the catcher’s fourth homer of the season and second over his past three appearances. Wells then singled to shortstop to help drive in Tech’s second run of the inning to take a 6-3 lead.
A pair of flyouts helped the Bulldogs retire the first two outs in the bottom of the fourth, but a softly hit chopper up the middle from leadoff batter Tre’ Morgan helped keep the inning alive for the Tigers. LSU scored all five of its runs in the fourth with two away to take its first lead of the game at 8-6 after four.
Designated hitter Steele Netterville helped Tech respond immediately in the fifth, opening the inning with an infield single to shortstop. The Bulldogs then loaded the bases behind an HBP from left fielder Cole McConnell and a one-out walk from Corona. Following a strikeout, Young once again came up clutch when he served an 0-2 pitch into center field for a two-out, two-RBI single to knot the game at 8-8.
The Tigers, however, would close Tuesday night’s contest with eight straight runs. LSU tallied three in the fifth, one in the sixth and four in the seventh to secure the midweek victory.
Four Bulldogs – Young, Bates, Netterville and Ray – tallied two-hit performances. McConnell paced LA Tech with two runs scored. The Bulldogs tallied 12 or more hits in all three of their games played at Alex Box Stadium this season.
Usual Sunday starter Jarret Whorff worked two scoreless innings to open the game, allowing just one hit with a strikeout.
LA Tech will close out the 2021 regular season with its final six games back home at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park. The Bulldogs will host UTSA starting on Friday for a four-game conference series to close out its C-USA slate. Tech will honor its seniors for Senior Day prior to Sunday afternoon’s game at the Love Shack.