Walker Burchfield blasts a solo home run in the 4th inning against Middle Tennessee

HOUSTON, Tx (KTVE/KARD) – After Wednesday mornings’ offensive barrage by the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, the bats fell rather quiet for eight innings in Tech’s 7-6 loss to Middle Tennessee in the second round of the Conference USA tournament.

The Blue Raiders jumped on Bulldogs starting pitcher Ryan Harland early in the first inning, scoring two runs on an RBI double by DJ Wright and a fielder’s choice for Jackson Galloway. The Louisiana Tech pitching did hold the fort for the next six innings however, allowing just one run during that time.

It was the Bulldogs offense that was a no show for the majority of the game. With runners in scoring position, Tech was not able to muster a single hit through the first six innings of the game, leaving eight runners on base during that time. With all that being said, the team only found themselves down 3-1 going into the eighth inning.

That would be where the wheels fell off on the afternoon. A Briggs Rutter solo home run, coupled with a two-RBI triple from Brett Coker saw the Blue Raiders extend their lead to 6-1. That lead would swell to 7-1 heading into the ninth inning.

In the ninth, the Bulldogs found a spark, and it started with being patient at the plate. Sandwiched between a Logan McLeod and Karson Evans walk, Franklin Parish High School alum Baylor Cobb recorded his first NCAA hit to load the bases.

Dalton Davis promptly unloaded them with a 2-RBI double into left center field to bring the Bulldogs within four. The very next batter, Ethan Bates launched a ball into the Houston skyline bringing the Dogs within a run. Oh and by the way, there was still no one out in the inning.

Baseball is a game of inches, and for Louisiana Tech that was the case on Thursday, as both Walker Burchfield and Brody Drost came mere feet away from hitting game tying solo home runs in back to back plate appearances, but instead they went in the book as flyouts and Tech fell in a wildly entertaining game.

“We crushed some balls today and didn’t have anything to show for it,” said Bulldogs head coach Lane Burroughs following the Thursday loss.

Louisiana Tech will rematch with Charlotte, a team they beat in the opening round on Wednesday. That game will be played Friday at 2 p.m. The winner moves on in the tournament and the losers season is ended.