By: Andrew Goodwin/Louisiana Tech Athletics
WICHITA, Kan. – The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs came back from an eight-run deficit to take a one-run lead, but fell 10-9 on a walk-off sacrifice fly to the Wichita State Shockers at Eck Stadium.
Taylor Young’s two-run home run in the eighth inning appeared to be the game-winner after giving Tech (10-6) a 9-8 lead, but the Shockers (13-2) loaded the bases in the ninth before winning the game on a fly ball to left field.
Young went 3-for-4 with a walk and Steele Netterville finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs. Alex Ray added a 2-for-3 day with his typical excellent defense at shortstop.
The Shockers did most of their damage in the second inning. Hunter Gibson opened the inning with an opposite field home run and David VanVooren followed with a triple. Four singles later, the Shockers led 5-0 with no outs in the inning. They would go on to score eight runs.
Three Tech pitchers toed the rubber during the disastrous second frame. The defense committed three errors.
The Dogs started their comeback in the third, following a pair of walks with a Hunter Wells double to put a small dent in the deficit.
Tech continued the comeback with three runs in the fourth. Manny Garcia doubled down the left field line, scoring Netterville. Garcia then came around to score when Phil Matulia shot a single through the right side. Alex Ray cut the initial deficit in half when his sacrifice fly brought Matulia home from third.
Parker Bates continued the scoring in the fifth inning when he took the first pitch he saw out to center field. The home run was Bates’ 7th of the 2020 season and his 24th RBI.
Wichita State held Tech scoreless in the sixth, but the comeback resumed in the seventh. Netterville and Jorge Corona singled through the left side, setting the table for Garcia. The senior lofted a fly ball to left field and let the wind do the rest. Couper Cornblum couldn’t hang on to the ball, allowing Netterville and Corona to come around and score.
The runs set the stage for Young’s two RBI bomb to left. The junior got the ball up into the wind, but it would have cleared the wall without assistance. The dinger was Young’s fifth of the season.
Throughout the comeback, Greg Martinez kept the Shockers within reach. Martinez punched out 5 batters in 3.1 innings of scoreless relief. The freshman allowed just two baserunners.
Casey Ouellette (2-1) was hit with the loss while Connery Peters (1-0) earned the win.