Taylor Young’s two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning gave Louisiana Tech the lead and the 21st ranked Bulldogs held on for a 9-7 win over the University of Louisiana-Monroe Tuesday night at JC Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
Tech (14-5) missed out on a number of early opportunities to post crooked numbers and it almost cost the Bulldogs, now winners of six in a row. But for the second straight game, solid relief pitching sealed the deal.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases in each of the first two innings but could only muster three runs despite a shaky start from the Warhawks pitching staff. ULM pitchers walked 10 Tech batters and hit two more on the night.
“This felt like a late season midweek game,” said Tech skipper Lane Burroughs. “But it was an early season one. ULM is a really good team. I thought we were tight early. And I think we all know why. I thought our assistant coaches did a great job of getting our guys together and settling them down.”
After only managing two hits through the first five innings, Tech found itself tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth. However, the Bulldogs scored two runs on a Young RBI double and a Parker Bates bloop single, giving Tech a 6-4 lead.
It was short-lived.
ULM cleanup hitter Derek DeSimone launched a three-run shot in the top of the seventh, giving the Warhawks their first lead of the night at 7-6.
Tech responded in its half of the frame. With two outs and no one on base, Kent Hasler singled and Alex Ray walked to put runners on base. Following a wild pitch, Young cranked the double just over the reach of the ULM outfielders glove to plate the go-ahead runs.
Cade Gibson worked 3.0 scoreless innings to start the game and then Burroughs went to his pen, using five relievers.
“A lot of those guys needed some work,” said Burroughs. “Our bullpen hasn’t been used much the last five games because of how good our starters have been. These guys needed to go out there and get some work.”
Tyler Follis (1-0) threw two-thirds of an inning to pick up the win in relief while Kyle Griffin picked up the save after working the final 1.2 innings. ULM had a ninth-inning opportunity but Bates threw out a Warhawk base runner at home for the first out of the frame before Griffin retired the next two batters.
The Bulldogs will travel to Hattiesburg this weekend to open Conference USA action with a four-game series against Southern Miss.
SOFTBALL: The Lady Techsters head to UL-Lafayette today to face the 16th ranked Ragin’ Cajuns. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on ESPN+.
Tech will travel north this weekend for a three-game series against Tulsa with a Saturday doubleheader at 2 p.m. and a Sunday single game at 1 p.m.