This item originally appeared in the April 1, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.
By Brian Allen
The first Western Athletic Conference home series for the Tech baseball team ended in disappointment, as the Bulldogs lost two of three games to Hawaii this past weekend. Ê
Tech (11-18, 2-4 WAC) started the first game strong Thursday night against Hawaii by winning 7-6 in a ten-inning thriller.
The Bulldogs finished the weekend by losing 13-7 on Friday night and 8-1 on Saturday afternoon, as the Rainbows dominated the Bulldogs on the diamond.
Clayton Meyer (3-2, 3.64 ERA) and Matt Lacy (1-3, 5.40 ERA) teamed up for 10 solid innings pitched in game one, allowing only one walk.
"Every game that we walk three or less, we usually come out with a win," Bulldog head coach Wade Simoneaux said.
Bulldog hitting was key, especially early in Thursday night's game. Gary Holik started the Bulldogs off offensively by singling through the left side of the infield to set up a Jeff Walker home run to center field to give Tech a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
"I thought we did a good job offensively early in the game," Simoneaux said.
Hawaii added two runs in the second inning and one run in the third to take a 3-2 lead going into the fourth inning.
Tech's Stephen Winters blasted a home run to right field for his only hit of the game to kick off an offensive oriented fourth inning.
Jeremy Alford followed with a double and Mims Boyce singled to occupy the bases.
In a bold move, Alford advanced home when Mim Boyce drew the catcher's throw to second base in a successful steal attempt. Gil Laird doubled to center which plated Boyce, giving the Bulldogs a 5-3 lead.
The Bulldog offensive barrage drove Rainbow ace Ricky Bauer out of the game in the fourth with only three and 1/3 innings pitched.
Both teams went quiet offensively in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings due to impressive pitching performances. Tech's Meyer and Hawaii's McDowell combined to give up one hit in those innings.
Hawaii came back in the late innings by scoring two runs in the eighth and one run in the ninth to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
In the bottom of the tenth inning, the Bulldogs made their run to victory, as Holik, Sabatini and Alford started off the inning by drawing walks.
Freshmen Brady Bascle came through with a game-winning single through the left side of the infield to score Holik. The hit was the first of Bascle's career.
"Bascle swings the bat well, and he is going to be a good player for us. I have total confidence in him," Simoneaux said.
A much different outcome was in store for the Bulldogs on Friday, as Tech fell 13-7 to Hawaii. Five different Tech pitchers made an appearance, and of the five, three were freshmen.
Freshman starting pitcher Blake Burns (3-2) made the longest appearance, which was three and 2/3 innings. Hawaii scored 13 runs on 16 hits in their domination of Tech pitching, and eight of those runs were earned runs.
Haygood led off the bulldogs in the bottom of first inning with a mammoth home run to center field, giving the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
Hawaii took the lead in the third inning and would not look back the rest of the game, as the Rainbows scored in seven of the nine innings. Hawaii's Isaac Omura had three hits, while five other Rainbows contributed with two hits each.
Walker hit a home run to center field in the ninth inning to narrow the gap, but it wasn't enough, as the Bulldogs lost by six runs.
The series finale on Saturday was again a struggle for the Tech pitching staff. Tech sent five different pitchers to the mound, starting with Brad Chedister (0-1).
Chedister gave up four runs on seven hits in one 2/3 innings. The Bulldogs most effective pitcher was Andrew Alsup, who threw one 2/3 innings and gave up no runs on one hit.
Tech hitters could manage only one run on six hits against Rainbow pitcher Clary Carlsen, who pitched a complete game. As a result, Hawaii rolled over the Bulldogs 8-1.
"We knew coming into the game that Carlson was a quality pitcher, as well as Hawaii's other starting pitchers," Simoneaux said.
Walker singled to right field to plate the lone Tech run in the bottom of the third inning.
Freshman Brandon Hudson led the Bulldogs at the plate with two hits in the game.
"Hudson is going to have a lot of hits before his career is over. He has a good swing and works hard," Simoneaux said.
Before the series started, the Bulldogs held the all-time series record versus Hawaii at 7-6, only to surrender two games and tie the series record at 8-8.
"Hawaii is a good ball club and quality opponent, and they gave us a tough series this weekend," Simoneaux said.
The Bulldogs continue Western Athletic Conference play on the road against Fresno State for a three game series this weekend. Friday's and Saturday's games will be played at 8:35 p.m., and Sunday's game will be played at 3:05 p.m.