Diamond Dogs rebound from shaky weekend start

Phil Matulia (12) hit a 3-run blast in the bottom of the seventh inning to blow open the game Monday night. (Courtesy Photo)

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Louisiana Tech collected six extra-base hits, including two home runs, and got a combined 12 strikeouts from three pitchers as the Bulldogs overpowered BYU, 10-2, to even the four-game series on Monday night at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.

“I thought we got pushed around on Friday and a little bit on Saturday,” said Lane Burroughs. “We had a great practice yesterday and a great team meeting. It was very positive. I thought we played Louisiana Tech baseball tonight.

“It all starts on the mound with Reed Smith. The game was about to get away from us in the second, and he minimized that inning. Then we come back and put up a three spot. That was the difference in the ball game. We had great at bats. Our pitchers were throwing strikes. We had no errors. I am extremely proud of our guys for answering the bell and responding the way they did tonight.”

LA Tech (2-2) pounded out nine hits and got quality innings from all three Bulldogs pitchers – Reed Smith, Ethan Bates, and Landon Tomkins – while also playing sound defense with zero errors.

With the ‘Dogs up 1-0 after the first inning, BYU (2-2) threatened to blow the game wide open in the top of the second. After the first four Cougars reached base with three singles and a walk, the starter Smith minimized the damage to only allow two runs.

LA Tech turned around and put up a three-spot in the bottom half of the same inning, taking advantage of the control issues of BYU’s starter Carter Smith. After the Bulldogs loaded the bases with a hit-by-pitch and two walks, Brody Drost lined a single up the middle with two outs and two strikes on him. Another walk and a hit-by-pitch to Dalton Davis drove in another, making it 4-2.

That was all the lead the ‘Dogs would need as Smith (4.2 innings), Bates (2.1 innings), and Tomkins (2.0 innings) allowed just two combined hits over the last seven innings.

Meanwhile, LA Tech added on runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth inning. First, it was Adarius Myers swiping two bags before scoring on a throwing error to make it 5-2.

The Bulldogs then used the long ball, getting a three-run homer from Philip Matulia and a solo shot to center by Drost. Another run was added with a sacrifice fly by Will Safford.

Seven different Bulldogs recorded hits, led by Drost who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a walk.