Bulldogs to host Monarchs in C-USA tourney tune-up

LA Tech baseball photo by DARRELL JAMES

Staff report

How the West was won?

Lane Burroughs and Co. proved to have the right recipe for success this season on their way to claiming the West Division title in Conference USA.

\When the game-ending run crossed the plate in Sunday’s 17-7 win over UTSA, the Bulldogs (36-14, 22-8) had fought their way through the rugged West and captured its first conference or division title on the diamond in more than three decades.

Now with the 2021 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Championships on the horizon, Burroughs’ Bulldogs will reload this weekend for a pair of non-conference tune-ups against
C-USA foe Old Dominion (36-14, 22-10) at JC Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.

Today’s and Friday’s games are both slated to start at 6 p.m. and will be live on 97.7 FM with Dave Nitz providing the call of the action.

The Bulldogs will need all their proverbial bullets for this one. Old Dominion ranks No. 1 in the country in home runs with 86 on the season, led by Kyle Battle (.335, 17 HR, 53 RBI), Carter Trice (.354, 11 HR, 46 RBI) and Andy Garriola (.345, 11 HR, 63 RBI).

“They’ve got great players, and Virginia is a great state for baseball,” Burroughs said. “Coach (Chris) Finwood is one of the best coaches in our league. He’s really good and is a baseball man. I really respect him and his staff.

“They lead the country in home runs, and they have some older guys like we do that have battled some injuries, redshirted or got a COVID year back. They’re putting up big numbers like our guys. They have some younger guys who are also really, really good.”

Old Dominion, the No. 4 seed in next week’s C-USA Championships, also has some solid arms on the bump, led by Ryne Moore (7-1, 3.10 ERA) and Hunter Gregory (7-2, 3.14 ERA). The Monarchs will open the tournament Wednesday against No. 5 seed Florida Atlantic.

“They’ve got two really good starters and a few nice bullpen pieces,” said Burroughs. “I think you look at us, ODU and UTSA, you’ve got three of the better offensive teams right there. It’s kind of ironic we go UTSA, ODU and then right back to UTSA. We’ve got our work cut out for us. They’re one of those teams that feels like every game they play that they’re going to win. I’m looking forward to competing against them.”

Tech will be the No. 2 seed in next week’s tournament and will open Wednesday at 4 p.m. against UTSA. The Bulldogs just won three out of four against the Roadrunners last weekend. C-USA Tournament Tickets

LA Tech and C-USA baseball fans can purchase an all-tournament pass to attend up to 15 games for $175. The all-tournament tickets will go on sale on Tuesday, May 11, at 9 a.m. CT.

Fans can also purchase individual session and day passes for the tournament online beginning on Sunday, May 23. Games played next Wednesday and May 27, will be split into morning and evening sessions with each session consisting of two games.

Chairback seats for a session can be purchased for $30 and tickets in the right field berm will be available at $20.

Fans can purchase full-day passes for games played on May 28, or May 29, at $30 for a chairback and $20 for the right field berm. Tickets for the championship game on May 30 will be priced at $20 for a chairback and $15 for the right field berm.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Tech Ticket Office at (318) 257-3631 or by visiting LATechSports.com/Tickets.

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