UTSA scored one run in the sixth and plated three additional runs in the eighth to seal a 4-0 victory for the Roadrunners over Louisiana Tech Thursday night at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in Ruston.
Senior left hander James Ferguson started and threw five scoreless innings until UTSA (29-23, 13-11 WAC) designated hitter Tony Ramirez homered to right-center field to give the Roadrunners a 1-0 lead over LA Tech (19-35, 6-19 WAC) in the top half of the sixth inning.
"I thought Ferguson threw well enough to win, but then again, if you do not score you can't win," head coach Wade Simoneaux. "We are not playing for anything right now and [UTSA] is, and that makes a difference. We have to get (Phil) Maton out there tomorrow and even up this series so we will have a chance to win the series for our seniors out there."
Ferguson (2-3) was charged with the loss despite holding the Roadrunners to one run through six innings. The senior pitched 7.1 innings, the longest outing of his career, and allowed four runs off 10 hits, while striking out two and walking three. Caleb Dudley came on in the eighth to close out the inning and did not allow a hit, while Dakota Doss pitched a scoreless ninth inning and did not allow a base hit.
Freshman right hander Brock Hartson (8-4) threw 8.2 innings of shutout baseball and held the Bulldogs to just four hits on the night while striking out five of the batters he faced. Matt Sims (7) came on in relief in the ninth with two outs, bases loaded and the tying run at the plate and successfully closed out the inning with a strikeout for his seventh save of the season.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the sixth, UTSA added three insurance runs in the top of the eighth after an RBI double by RJ Perucki plated one run, followed by a two-run single to right-center field by Horacio Correa III gave the Roadrunners a 4-0 advantage late in the game.
The Roadrunners were led at the plate by Correa III, who was a perfect 4-for-4 on the night with two RBI, while Ramirez and Perucki also contributed for UTSA with two hits apiece to give the visitors a total of 12 hits on the night for the top-ranked hitting team in the conference.
For the Bulldogs, Corey White, Taylor Terrasas, Kody Neel and Sam Alvis each recorded one hit apiece on the night for a total of four hits for the Tech batters.