FROM LA TECH SPORTS
RUSTON, La. - Senior right hander Richie Navari put together his best pitching performance as a Bulldog and helped lead Louisiana Tech to a 5-2 win over Tulane for the team's first win in Conference USA Sunday afternoon at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
Despite allowing two runs through the first three innings of play, Navari was lights out the rest of the way and did not allow a base hit by Tulane (6-1, 2-1 C-USA) at any point after the third inning for the first complete game of his LA Tech (2-4, 1-2 C-USA) career.
Navari (1-0) threw nine complete innings of four-hit baseball and earned the win for the Bulldogs in the third and final game of the weekend series. He allowed two runs through the first few innings, but did not allow a walk on the day, while also striking out five Green Wave batters.
Alex Massey (1-1) started for Tulane and was charged with the loss after failing to make it out of the third inning after giving up five runs off six hits in 2.2 innings of work. Kyle McKenzie came on in relief and did not allow a run, while giving up five LA Tech base hits. Dan Rankin pitched the ninth for Tulane and gave up one hit, while facing five batters in the inning.
"Richie did an outstanding job on the mound and this is what happens when you pitch and play defense," head coach Wade Simoneaux said. "We had a few timely hits, and that was a good win. Not a lot of people gave us a chance to win today, but our guys showed a lot of character. Richie did exactly what we needed today. It was a masterful outing by him and it came at a good time."
Tulane began the game with a run in top of the first after an RBI single by Hunter Hope drove home Richard Carthon to give the Green Wave a 1-0 lead early in the game.
LA Tech responded with a run of their own in the second after Chandler Hall hit into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs, allowing Tyler Ervine to score from third and knot the game at 1-1. Tulane once again took the lead in the third on a solo home run down the left field line by Andrew Garner, but that would end up being the last hit and run the Green Wave hitters would have for the rest of the day.
With two outs in the bottom half of the third, the Bulldogs put together four consecutive base hits to regain the lead as four LA Tech base runners crossed the plate in the inning. An RBI single by Taylor Love scored Colby Johnson, who doubled earlier in the inning, from second base to tie the game at 2-2. Tyler Ervine and Tyler Qualls each singled to take the lead before Bre'shon Kimbell hit a two RBI double to left field for the final runs of the day for the Bulldogs.
Johnson and Ervine led the Bulldogs at the plate as they were both 3-for-4 on the day. Johnson had a double and scored a run, while Ervine had an RBI and two runs in the win. Love put together a two-hit performance for LA Tech with an RBI and a run scored. Kimbell was 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI. Ryan Jones, Taylor Nichols and Qualls each had one hit apiece for the Bulldogs.
Garner led the Green Wave with a 2-for-4 effort, while driving home a run and scoring one himself. Carthon and Hope combined for the final two hits of the day for Tulane.
The Bulldogs return to action at 6 p.m. Wednesday as UALR will travel to Ruston to take on LA Tech in midweek play at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.
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