By: Andrew Goodwin/Louisiana Tech Athletics
RUSTON – Jonathan Fincher struck out ten batters over seven innings of work and Steele Netterville contributed three runs in a 5-1 Louisiana Tech victory over Maine in front of 842 at Ruston High School.
Netterville went 2-for-3 on the day with three runs and an HBP. Fincher allowed just one run on four hits and a walk. Philip Matulia went 1-for-2 with 2 RBI in his first significant action of the 2020 season.
The Black Bears drew first blood in the second inning. Connor Goodman singled to left field with runners on second and third, scoring Alex McKenney.
Tech responded in the bottom of the fourth inning. Steele Netterville reached when he was hit by a pitch and Jorge Corona laced a two-out triple past the centerfielder. The triple was Corona’s first of the season.
The Bulldogs took the lead in the next inning. Alex Ray singled through the right side of the infield before advancing to third to set the table for Hunter Wells. The senior lofted a 3-2 pitch into left field to score Ray.
Matulia added another run to Tech’s total in the sixth inning when he smoked a one-out double down the left field line. The hit was Matulia’s first of the year and scored Steele Netterville from third. Ray earned an RBI in the next at-bat when he grounded out to shortstop, driving in Cole McConnell.
Meanwhile, Fincher buckled down after allowing his only run of the game. The redshirt sophomore struck out 8 batters over the final five innings and retired 15 of the final 16 Black Bears he faced.
The final run of the game came in the bottom of the eighth inning when Matulia beat out a potential double play ball, allowing Netterville to score from third.
Beau Billings, Kyle Griffen, and Casey Ouellette combined to close out the win in relief. Billings walked the first batter he faced before the trio got six straight outs to help Tech earn the win.
Louisiana Tech and Maine return to Ruston High on Saturday for a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. with the second game beginning approximately 45 minutes after the first concludes.