RUSTON, La. -- Louisiana Tech scored 12runs on 12 hits to claim Thursday's opening game of the Conference USA series over the visiting Rice baseball team 12-2 in Ruston, La.
Rice is now 32-18 overall and 19-8 in C-USA league play. LA Tech improved to 35-16 the season and 17-11 in conference.
The Bulldogs started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Third baseman Chase Lunceford hit the first pitch over the wall in right field for a solo homerun, and the Bulldogs quickly added two more. After issuing a walk, Rice's Ryan Chandler and Charlie Warren collided trying to make a play on a liner to right-center. The ball rolled all the way to the wall for an inside-the-park homerun that made it 3-0.
LA Tech doubled the margin with three more runs in the third. A hit batsman and consecutive walks loaded the stations. Lunceford punched a base hit through the right side for an RBI with the bases still full. Marshall Boggs then laced a two-out double to left to score two more for a 6-0 lead.
The Bulldogs added one more in the fourth before Rice fought for a run in the top of the fifth. Freshman Dominic DiCaprio knocked a double off the wall in center and took third on Tristan Gray's grounder to the right side. DiCaprio crossed home on Dane Myers' single to left that made the score 7-1.
Tech responded with two runs back in the bottom of the inning, then added three in the sixth to extend its lead to 12-1. Rice scored its final run in the eighth. A Charlie Warren single, a LA Tech balk and RBI single by Ford Proctor that extended his hitting streak to 13 games made it 12-2. Six Rice players combined for seven hits, but the squad was 2-of-13 with runners in scoring position.
Owl junior right-hander Jon Duplantier started and pitched 4.1 innings. He allowed seven hits and three walks with two hit batters, but also struck out eight. Willy Amador and true freshman Brent Schwarz also saw action on the mound, with Schwarz registering 2.1 scoreless frames in just his second NCAA career appearance.
The weekend series continues through Saturday (May 21). Friday's first pitch is set for 6 pm.