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Diamond ‘Dogs finish series strong

April 19, 2018

 

BRYN YOUNG

News Editor | bjy001@latech.edu

 

Tanner Huddleston (25), Parker Bates (2) and Mason Robinson (3) meet at home plate after Robinson blasted a three-run homer into left field during game 3. – Photo by Colin Fontenot

 

Louisiana Tech’s Diamond ‘Dogs will look to shake back in the coming weeks after picking up their first conference series loss of the season over the weekend.

 

Tech hosted the Charlotte 49ers at J.C. Love Field April 14-15, playing a doubleheader on Saturday due to inclement weather late Friday. The No. 25 ‘Dogs looked to pick up a solid conference victory following a 2-0 loss to LSU mid-week but were unable to do so, losing the first two games of the series before clinching a win in the final game on Sunday.

 

The first game of the series started out with a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with Hunter Wells being batted in on a fly ball from third baseman Tanner Huddleston, scoring Tech’s only point of the evening. The team held its lead for two more innings under the guidance of starting pitcher Matt Miller, who threw a scoreless second and third inning.

 

Things started to fall apart for the ‘Dogs in the fourth as Charlotte catcher Zack Smith batted in Harris Yett to tie the game. Charlotte went on to score again in the fifth and sixth innings, pushing the score to 5-1 going into seventh. Tech was kept out of the game by Charlotte’s pitchers being held to just four hits all game compared to Charlotte’s 13. They went on to put the game out of Tech’s reach with four runs in the ninth, coming off the back of Jackson Mims two-run home run.

 

The story of the second game of the day Saturday is eerily similar to that of the first. Tech looked to right their wrongs by jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. The streak was started by senior Dalton Skelton who put one over the left field wall for his fifth home run of the season while also batting in Wells for a run. They were followed by runs from Mason Mallard and Parker Bates, putting up the only points of the night for the ‘Dogs.

 

Tech held their lead into the seventh inning with starting pitcher Logan Robbins allowing only one run on the night. Then Charlotte rallied back with a quick five run streak to kill the hopes for the Bulldogs and ending the game 6-4.

 

The final game of the series held yet another quick lead for Tech as they quickly went up 6-0 in the first inning with runs from Wells, Bates, Taylor Young and Tanner Huddleston and homers from Dalton Skelton and Mason Robinson. Tech managed to tack on another three runs in the fifth and sixth.

 

The third game was held together by a strong showing from pitcher Logan Bailey, who held the 49ers to two runs across his seven-inning stint. He was replaced by Kyle Griffen in the eighth and Kent Hasler in the ninth. Although Griffen pitched a scoreless frame, Charlotte looked to rally at the end as Hasler allowed four runs on four hits before Tech could end the game 10-6.

 

Head coach Lane Burroughs said Sunday’s win was very important in the bigger picture of the season heading forward and how they plan to handle it.

 

“(It’s) a very big win,” Burroughs said. “I told our guys before the game, ‘We’re going to look back on today at the end of the year and say that was a big day. Championships are won on Sunday because of that. You are either trying to keep from getting swept, trying to win a series or trying to keep from getting swept. Sunday is what it is all about.”

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