Bre'shon Kimbell's two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the first inning propelled Louisiana Tech to a 5-2 victory over Seattle to open Western Athletic Conference play Saturday at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston.
Both Kimbell and Sam Alvis left the yard in Saturday's contest as Tech (10-14, 1-0 WAC) put up two runs in both the first and fourth innings before adding an insurance run in the fifth to take the first game of a three-game set from the visiting Redhawks of Seattle (8-13, 0-1 WAC).
"Bre'shon (Kimbell) popped one and (Sam) Alvis had one later, and it was huge to get Phil (Maton) an early lead," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "We are in a dogfight every day in this conference and we have to play nine innings to win. We have our hands full [with Seattle], and we have to be ready to go tomorrow."
Sophomore right hander Phil Maton (4-1) earned the win on the mound for the Bulldogs after allowing two runs – one earned – off six hits and striking out six in seven innings pitched. Caleb Dudley (4) came on in relief to start the eighth inning and picked up a two-inning save for his fourth of the season and the 27th save of his career.
Starter Ted Hammond (1-1) was charged with the loss after giving up five runs – all earned – off seven hits in 4.1 innings of work. Hammond was relieved by Evan Ewing, who allowed two hits and no runs in two complete innings. Left hander Will Dennis struck out one Tech batter in 1.2 innings to close out the day for the Redhawks.
After Maton pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first, Alvis singled to the left side to bring up Kimbell, who sent a 1-2 pitched to deep left field to give Tech a 2-0 lead early in the game.
The Bulldogs added two more runs in the fourth after a lead-off walk by Taylor Terrasas and a single up the middle by first baseman Tyler Ervine to give Tech two men on with no outs. Ryan Gebhardt came through with an RBI single to left to score Terrasas, followed by a double-play ball by Jacob Derouen to plate Ervine and give Tech a four-run lead over the Redhawks.
Seattle added a run in the fifth after center fielder Chase Fields doubled to left field to bring up shortstop Nate Roberts, who singled up the middle to score Fields. Tech responded in the fifth when Alvis jumped on the first pitch he saw for a home run to left field to give the Bulldogs a 5-1 advantage. Seattle plated their second and final run of the game in the seventh after Landon Cray reached second on an error, before a sacrifice fly to right field by Ryan Somers cut Tech's lead to 5-2 over the Redhawks.
Tech had three Bulldog hitters record multi-hit games with Alvis, Kimbell and Tyler Qualls each totaling two hits apiece, while Kimbell led with two RBI on the day.
The Redhawks were led at the plate by first baseman Grant Newton and second baseman Cash McGuire, who each recorded two hits on the afternoon for Seattle.
The series will resume at 1 p.m. Sunday at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston with the third and final game scheduled for a 6 p.m. start Monday night.