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Wild seventh inning sends Louisiana Tech past ULM



MONROE, La. – The Bulldogs put together all the ingredients of a big inning in a seven-run seventh frame to race past ULM 8-3 at Warhawk Field on Tuesday night. Louisiana Tech batted around in the seventh to turn a 3-1 deficit into an 8-3 lead in Monroe.

First baseman Ben Brantley and shortstop Alex Raystarted the seventh-inning rally with a pair of singles before leadoff batter Taylor Young loaded the bases on a four-pitch walk. Hunter Wells trimmed ULM’s lead to 3-2 with an RBI single through the left side before Ray came home to tie the game on a wild pitch from ULM’s Landon Longsworth.

After a bases-loaded walk from right fielder Steele Netterville helped Tech retake the lead at 4-3, left fielder Philip Matulia delivered the hit of the night with a bases-clearing triple off the wall in left center. Matulia’s three-bagger to opposite field scored Netterville, senior centerfielder Parker Bates and Wells to make it 7-3 Bulldogs.

Catcher Jorge Corona tacked on LA Tech’s seventh run of the inning with an RBI single through the left side. LA Tech’s seven-run seventh inning helped Tech jump back in front for the first time since a 1-0 advantage in the top of the second.

In total, the Bulldogs (8-3) tallied seven runs in the seventh inning behind five hits, three walks and an HBP. Tech has now won 11 of its past 12 games against the Warhawks dating back to 2007.

“When it really mattered tonight, Matulia delivered with the three-run triple,” head coach Lane Burroughssaid. “He was flying at low altitude.

“What a great swing he had after two not very good at-bats to start off the game. It was about the ability to put failure behind us and move forward. I couldn’t be more proud of our guys,”

Right-hander Tanner Knight helped keep the ‘Dogs within striking distance after taking over for starter Cade Hodges in the second inning. Knight worked four innings on the mound while allowing just four hits and one earned run. The Eupora, Mississippi native struck out four Warhawks during his time on the mound.

Fellow right-hander Greg Martinez recorded his second pitching victory of the season with 3.1 scoreless innings to close out the game for the Bulldogs. Martinez struck out six Warhawks during his time on the mound, stranding three ULM baserunners in scoring position.

Martinez’s toughest test came in the bottom of the seventh right after Tech had taken its 8-3 lead. The Warhawks (5-4) loaded the bases with a pair of singles and a walk before Martinez ended the ULM threat with a groundout from Carson Jones.

LA Tech struck first on Tuesday when Conference USA Co-Hitter of the Week Manny Garcia smacked a homer for the second straight game, putting the Bulldogs up 1-0 in the second inning. The Tech advantage did not last long as ULM scored a run in the bottom half to tie the game before a run each in the third and sixth innings put the Warhawks up 3-1.

Tech’s seven-run seventh inning was not the only frame the ‘Dogs scored multiple runs, finishing off the contest with a two spot in the ninth. Matulia again sparked the LA Tech offense with a one-out single, coming home from second after Corona delivered a two-out single to push LA Tech’s lead to 9-3. Pinch runner Adarius Myers tallied the Bulldogs’ tenth run of the night on a wild pitch from ULM’s Justin King.

Matulia, Wells and Corona each registered two-hit performances on the evening. Matulia’s three-run triple in the seventh helped him lead the Bulldogs with three RBI. The Houston native has smacked two triples already this season.

The Bulldogs will now return home to J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park for five straight games against teams inside the top five of this week’s D1Baseball Top 25. LA Tech will open a three-game series against No. 1 Arkansas on Friday in the Love Shack before hosting No. 4 Ole Miss on starting on Tuesday. First pitch for Friday night’s matchup is set for 6 p.m.