Bulldogs not on their heels after surprising split with Marshall

Pictured is Louisiana Tech’s Ben Brantley circling the bases after hitting a three-run homer in an 11-4 win over Marshall on Saturday. (Photo by TIM SMITH)

Staff writer

The national rankings will dip a bit Monday for Louisiana Tech’s baseball team.

In the grand scheme, so what? That’s how Diamond ‘Dogs coach Lane Burroughs saw it Sunday after upstart Marshall, which brought a 2-14 Conference USA slate into Ruston, headed home having earned a split of its four games with their 14th-ranked hosts.

“Honestly, I think we got outplayed all weekend, in all four games,” he said following a 7-2 defeat in the getaway game Sunday at The Love Shack. “We’re probably fortunate we didn’t get swept. If we weren’t a good team, we probably would have.

“We’ve got good players, and we’ve got a good club. We’re not changing anything. This is baseball, and this happens over a 56-game schedule over the course of a year. Anybody who’s been around it, who’s been involved in it, knows this is gonna happen at some point.”

The Bulldogs opened the weekend with another of their typical comeback wins, 4-3 on Friday, as All-American outfielder Ryan Bates obliterated the first pitch of the bottom of the eighth over the right field scoreboard to break a 3-3 tie.

Saturday’s doubleheader started great for the home team, but ended distastefully. The ‘Dogs dashed the Herd 11-4 in the first game, and were in position to post a sweep, three outs away from a 5-2 triumph in the seven-inning nightcap.

Instead, Marshall pounded away, using a grand slam as the go-ahead blow while putting up nine runs, scoring a stunning 11-4 upset.

On Sunday, Marshall again finished stronger, scoring the game’s last four runs while blanking the Bulldogs over the last four frames to pull away from a 3-2 edge.

The 2-2 weekend worksheet leaves Tech at 28-11 overall, 14-6 in C-USA, heading into next weekend’s trip to Middle Tennessee, the start of a nine-game road stretch. Marshall, which showed signs of life last weekend by splitting with FIU, rose to 8-24 overall, 4-16 in the league.

A series split was cause for celebration by the Thundering Herd.

It was a blip on the radar screen in the eyes of Burroughs and the Bulldogs.

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