NORFOLK, Va. –Louisiana Tech scored five runs in the third inning and held off a late Old Dominion rally as the Bulldogs defeated the Monarchs 8-4 to take the Conference USA series on a sunny Sunday afternoon at the Bud Metheny Ballpark.
la. Tech put up two runs in the top of the first as Taylor Young walked and scored on a double by Philip Matulia. After a pop out and a wild pitch to move Matulia to third, he scored on a sacrifice fly by Cole McConnell for an early 2-0 lead.
The Monarchs got on the board in the bottom of the second as Thomas Wheeler led off with a solo blast to left center to trim the deficit in half at 2-1.
The Bulldogs broke the game open with a five-spot in the top of the third highlighted by a pair of two-run singles from Steele Netterville and Adarius Myers to take a 7-1 advantage. They pushed it to 8-1 in the top of the fourth as Matulia singled and stole second before scoring on a single from McConnell.
ODU put another run on the board in the fourth as with two outs Wheeler took a 3-2 pitch over the wall in right-center for an 8-2 deficit.
Matt Coutney joined the home run brigade on Sunday with his nation-leading 22nd blast to start the eighth inning. Wheeler and Kenny Levi followed with consecutive doubles to score another as the Monarchs trimmed the deficit to 8-4.
in the ninth, Robbie Petracci started with a double before La. Tech closer Kyle Crigger struck out the next two. Coutney and Wheeler walked to load the bases, but Crigger induced a groundout to close the game.
Wheeler was 3-for-3 with two runs driven in, while Levari was 3-for-5 with one run driven in. Kyle Edwards, Petracci and Carter trice had two hits each as ODU out-hit the Bulldogs 14-12. Matulia paced the Bulldogs going 3-for-5 with three runs scored.
Landon Tomkins earned the win for La. Tech throwing 1.2 innings allowing one hit and one walk. Tommy Gertner was saddled with the loss with two innings and allowed five hits and six runs.
ODU (29-12, 11-10) now heads to No. 4 ranked Southern Miss. for a three-game series starting on Friday night.