RUSTON, La. -- The University of Texas-Pan American baseball team suffered a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs with scores of 5-4 and 9-5 Saturday evening at J.C. Love Field.
In game one, the Broncs got the scoring started in the top of the third against Mike Jefferson. Roger Bernal reached on a bunt single and then moved to second on a throwing error. After moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tom Sicking, Bernal came into score on a sacrifice bunt by Adrian De La Rosa giving UTPA the early 1-0 lead.
Louisiana Tech answered right back in the bottom of the third with a run of their own. Ryan Gebhart started the inning with a single to center. One out and a single later, Gebhart came into score on a sacrifice fly by Mark Threlkeld tying the game at one.
UTPA added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings against the Bulldogs’ pitching staff. In the fifth inning, Sicking drove in Iradier Hernandez, who reached on a one-out single, from second base giving the Broncs the 2-1 advantage. In the sixth inning, Stuart MacInnes reached on a dropped fly ball in center field and then two outs later came into score on a Colten Van Komen RBI single extending UTPA’s lead 3-1.
The Bulldogs got within one in the bottom of the seventh inning after Will Alvis homered over the left field wall cutting the Broncs’ advantage to 3-2.
UTPA answered right back in the next half inning. MacInnes led off the eighth with a double to left center and then moved to third on an Angel Ibanez single. Vincent Mejia extended the Broncs’ lead after grounding into a double play that allowed MacInnes to score from third making it 4-2.
The Broncs went into the bottom of the ninth with a two run lead but the Bulldogs answered with a three spot against the UTPA bullpen. After Corey White came into score on an Alvis RBI single, Louisiana Tech scored the final two runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Kyle Roliard drove in the winning run against Roger Bernal (0-1) with an RBI bunt single to the pitcher giving the Bulldogs the 5-4 victory.
Cody Plunk got a no decision after pitching seven strong innings allowing two runs on six hits and striking out four.
Caleb Dudley (3-2) picked up the win for the Bulldogs after he pitched three and two-third innings allowing just one run on four hits and striking out one.
In Game two, the Broncs once again got on the scoreboard first. In the top of the second inning, Mike McCarthy hit an RBI single to center field that allowed Colton Van Komen to score from second giving UTPA the 1-0 edge.
The Bulldogs responded in the bottom of the fifth against with six runs on three hits against the Broncs pitching staff. Alex Williams and Will Alvis plated two runs each with singles in the inning that helped Louisiana Tech gain the 6-1 lead.
UTPA fought back in the top of the sixth with some help from the Bulldogs’ defense. Angel Ibanez led off with a walk then moved to third on a Vincent Mejia double. Stuart MacInnes then followed with an RBI single to left field that allowed Ibanez to score from third but a fielding error in left field also allowed Mejia to score. After moving to third on the fielding error, MacInnes came into score on a wild pitch by Josh Barrett. Van Komen followed with a single and then moved to second on one of three Bulldogs’ errors in the inning. Then after a Roger Bernal single, Van Komen came into score on an RBI single by Tom Sicking which made the score 6-5 in favor of Louisiana Tech.
That is all the scoring the Broncs would do as the Bulldogs added one in the bottom of the sixth and two in the bottom of the eighth to extend their lead to 9-5.
Mike LeBreton picked up the save after pitching four scoreless innings and closing out the top of the ninth giving the Bulldogs the 9-5 victory and sweeping the doubleheader.
Michael Zouzalik (1-1) got the loss after allowing four runs in four and two-thirds innings while striking out six and walking three.
The Broncs return home on Friday April 1 as they play host to Centenary College at Edinburg Baseball Stadium for a three-game series. Game one is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. and the series will conclude with a doubleheader on Saturday with game one scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.