|Spartans Take Early Lead Before Falling At Louisiana Tech|
RUSTON, La. - Ryan Gebhardt doubled to lead off the bottom of the ninth Friday and would eventually score the winning run on a walk-off hit-by-pitch, as Louisiana Tech took game one of a three-game Western Athletic Conference series, 4-3, over San Jose State at J.C. Love Field.
The Spartans (21-20, 5-5 WAC) intentionally walked Alex Williams, the conference's top homerun hitter, following Gebhardt's double in the ninth to put runners on first and second with no outs. Pinch-hitter Kyle Arnsberg followed with a single to right field to load the bases for the Bulldogs (21-23, 4-9 WAC).
Spartans reliever Kalei Contrades ran the count to 1-2 against the next batter, Austin Hedges, on two straight swing-and-misses. Hedges fouled off the first 1-2 pitch to the backstop, and on the next pitch Contrades hit Hedges on the shoulder to bring in the winning run.
That spoiled an otherwise decent outing for Contrades (1-2), who got two swinging strikeouts in the seventh to escape a jam with two runners in scoring position and one out. He also threw a 1-2-3 eighth inning with one strikeout.
Louisiana Tech had base runners in every inning but the eighth. They had the leadoff batter reach in five different innings, yet only managed one run through the first five frames. The Bulldogs stranded a total of 10 runners in the game.
Jamie Gilley (2-4), who took the win by facing the minimum in two innings of no-hit, shutout relief, struck out the side in the top of the ninth, all swinging, to get Louisiana Tech to the winning frame.
VALDEZ GOES YARD TO TIE IT
The Bulldogs took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out, two-run single by Taylor Terrasas. That lead did not last for long though, as Jacob Valdez hit a two-out solo homerun, his first of the year, to right-center field in the top of the seventh, tying the game at 3-3.
Valdez ended the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored, an RBI and a homerun. Kyle Gallegos also had two hits for the Spartans. Gebhardt led the way for Louisiana Tech, going 3-for-4 with a double and scoring the winning run. Six other players had one hit each for the Bulldogs.
MORE EARLY SCORING FOR SAN JOSE STATE
The Spartans staked themselves to a 2-0 lead in the third inning Friday. It was the eighth time in their last nine games the Spartans scored runs in the first three innings. It was also the ninth time during that stretch they saw an early lead disappear.
Andrew Rodriguez drew a one-out walk and went to third on a hit-and-run single by Jacob Valdez in the third inning. Matt Lopez then drove in Rodriguez on a two-strike, chop-swing infield single to first base, giving the Spartans a 1-0 lead and runners on first and second with one out.
San Jose State starter Johnny Melero pitched beyond the fifth inning Friday for the first time since March 24 versus Seattle University. The left-hander went 5 1/3 innings and scattering four hits with three runs, one earned, on three strikeouts and five walks.
Louisiana Tech's starter Jeb Stefan threw 126 pitches in going seven innings, surrendering three runs on six hits and striking out eight.
The series resumes with game two Saturday at 3 p.m. Central Time. San Jose State's Esteban Guzman (1-1, 3.37 ERA) and Louisiana Tech's Phil Maton (6-4, 3.26 ERA) are the game's probable starters.
Louisiana Tech 4, San Jose State 3 (May 04, 2012 at Ruston, La.)