RUSTON, La. – Louisiana Tech led by six runs after four innings, but CSU Bakersfield mounted a come-from-behind victory and scored nine straight runs to defeat the Bulldogs, 9-8, Saturday afternoon at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston.
LA Tech's (15-32, 3-17 WAC) bats came alive early as the Bulldogs scored six runs over the course of the first four innings, but a six-run eighth inning for CSU Bakersfield (31-17, 14-6 WAC) gave the Roadrunners the lead and the eventual victory.
"[CSU Bakersfield] executed when they had to, and not too many teams can come back from a 6-0 deficit and get it done like they did," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "But our guys didn't quit and our fans that were here saw that. That eighth inning was like a dagger in the heart, but our guys came back and scored two. It just hasn't fallen our way lately and today was a prime example of that.
"We are going to be men about it and we know where we stand," Simoneaux said. "It's a shame because we have a great group of guys and they haven't quit. They could have shut it down a long time ago when things started going south."
Chuck Buchanan came on in relief of Bakersfield starter Scott Brattvet in the fourth inning and picked up the win for the Roadrunners. Buchanan (2-2) allowed two runs – both earned – off three hits and struck out three batters in four full innings of relief work. Taylor Aikenhead (5) pitched the final 1.2 innings for the Roadrunners and picked up his fifth save of the season.
Reliever Jamie Gilley (1-3) pitched 0.1 inning in the eighth and was charged with the loss after allowing four runs – all earned – off two hits and walking two of the five batters he faced. Phil Maton started for the Bulldogs and gave up three runs – all earned – off nine hits, while striking out eight Roadrunner batters in seven innings of work. Sam Alvis closed out the last two innings and allowed two earned runs off two hits and struck out two.
Tech jumped on top of the Roadrunners early with a three-run first inning after Tyler Ervine singled through the left side to score two runs, followed by a fielder's choice by Kyle Arnsberg to plate Terrasas and give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.
Tech added its fourth run in the second inning off back-to-back two-out doubles to left field by Taylor Terrasas and Ervine for a four-run advantage. The Bulldogs continued in the fourth inning and added two additional runs off an RBI single by Bre'shon Kimbell and a fielder's choice by Jacob Derouen for a six-run lead after four complete innings.
CSU Bakersfield broke up the shutout in the top half of the fifth after designated hitter Dylan Christensen singled to plate a run, followed by a sacrifice fly by catcher Cael Brockmeyer to cut Tech's lead to four. The roadrunners added a third run in the sixth after Jordie Hein doubled to right field to lead off the inning and later scored on an RBI double to left-center field by Chance Gusbeth to trail 6-3 after six innings.
Bakersfield completed its comeback in the eighth after Oscar Sanay tripled down the right field line with bases loaded to tie the game at six, followed by an RBI single by Tyler Shryock for the Roadrunners' first lead of the day. Two batters later, Brockmeyer hit a two-run home run over the left field fence for the fifth and sixth runs of the inning as Bakersfield took a 9-6 lead over Tech.
The Bulldogs fought back immediately in the bottom half of the eighth by scoring two runs off a 2-RBI double down the left field line by Ervine to make it a one-run ball game, but Tech failed to plate the tying run as the Roadrunners closed out the ninth for the series win.
Tyler Ervine had a career day at the plate for the Bulldogs as the junior first baseman put together a 4-for-5 performance with two doubled and a season-high five RBI on the afternoon. Taylor Terrasas also contributed with three hits in four at bats with a double and three runs scored, while Kimbell was 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Bulldogs.
Brockmeyer and Shryock both totaled three hits apiece for the Roadrunners with Sanay adding two hits and three RBI of his own. Brockmeyer was 3-for-4 with a home run, three RBI and a run scored as Bakersfield as a whole totaled six extra-base hits on the day.
With the loss, the Bulldogs moved to 3-17 in conference play with a final chance to salvage the series against the visiting Roadrunners at 1 p.m. tomorrow at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.