RUSTON, La. – The Louisiana Tech pitching staff stymied the Arkansas’ offense on a chilly Saturday afternoon at J.C. Love Field to even the series at one game each with a 9-2 win in front of 3,076 fans at J.C. Love Field.
The No. 7 Razorbacks managed just seven hits after getting just five hits in a season-opening 4-2 win on Friday night. Louisiana Tech exploded for nine runs on 11 hits off five UA pitchers.
Junior right-handed pitcher Shaun Seibert took the loss after allowing a two-run first inning. He then settled down to work a solid four innings. He allowed just those two runs, on five hits, walking one and striking out three.
Louisiana Tech starting pitcher and designated hitter Jericho Jones (1-0) pitched well over five innings, allowing two runs on four hits. He walked three and fanned six. Reliever Brandon Hudson came on and struck out five in four innings of work, allowing four hits and no runs to earn the save.
Courtney Jones led the Bulldogs’ offensive attack with three hits and four RBI, including a home run and a double.
Casey Coon went 3 for 3 at the plate in his first start as a Razorback with two doubles and two RBI.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early led when a leadoff, two-strike single to left field by Adam Cobb came around to score on a hit-and-run single by Brandon Hudson. Courtney Jones followed with a two-out double over Jake Dugger’s head in left field. Hudson was called safe at the plate on a bang-bang play to take at 2-0 lead.
Tech added a run in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brian Rike after a one-out double by Matt Combs and a single by Cobb.
The Hogs’ bats finally came alive in the sixth inning as Sean Jones and Danny Hamblin opened with singles before Jeff Nutt drew a walk to load the bases and chase Tech’s Jones from the game. Coon greeted reliever Brandon Hudson with a two-RBI double to left field.
Hudson dug in from there striking out the next three Hogs, Brian Walker, Dylan Duren and Tim Smalling with a steady diet of curve balls.
Louisiana Tech got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the sixth inning on a solo home run to left field by Jones.
The Bulldogs then made it 5-2 in the seventh inning off new UA reliever Travis Hill, who hit a batter with one out and then uncorked a wild pitch. After a ground ball to first base moved the runner to third base, Rike delivered his second RBI of the game with a single past the glove of diving first baseman Duren.
Tech poured in on in the bottom of the seventh as relievers Travis Hill and Dallas Keuchel combined to allow five runs on three hits, two walks and a hit batter.
The rubber game of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday from J.C. Love Field in Ruston, La.