The Aggie baseball team kicked off WAC play with a 4-2 victory over Louisiana Tech in Ruston on Friday night. The Aggies never trailed in the game and got a strong outing from starter Ryan Beck who allowed just two runs on five hits while striking out three.
Pitching and defense dominated the early innings as neither offense could gain any traction through the first three innings. The Aggies got a leadoff single from Parker Hipp but Hipp would be erased from the basepaths on a double play. Chuck Howard would get a leadoff single and advance to second on an errant throw by the second baseman and would eventually end up on third with two outs but the Aggies would fail to take advantage. The Bulldogs would strand runners in the first and second and would go down in order in the third as the two teams headed to the fourth inning tied 0-0.
The Aggies would get a leadoff double from Tanner Waite who would advance to third on a balk. After the next two Aggies batters were put out, Ryan Aguayo would draw a two out walk to put runners at first and third. Zac Fisher would single driving in Waite while moving Aguayo to second. With a 1-0 lead Chuck Howard would double down the left field line driving in Aguayo to put the Aggies up 2-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth.
The Bulldogs would cut the Aggies' lead in half as Mark Threlkeld would hit a leadoff home run to make the score 2-1. Ryan Beck would recover getting the next three LA Tech batters out.
Beck would struggle in the bottom of the fifth hitting the first two batters of the inning but would get out of the jam after getting a line out to Parker Hipp and a 6-4-3 double play ball to end the inning.
Beck would again be the recipient of good defense in the sixth inning as the Bulldogs would put two on with one out but Beck would induce a double play ball to end the inning.
The Aggies would not be as fortunate in the seventh as Beck would hit the first batter of the inning, Clint Ewing who would later score on a two-out single from Ryan Gebhardt.
The Aggies would quickly retake the lead as a leadoff walk from Tanner Waite would prompt a pitching change by Louisiana Tech. Parker Hipp would draw a one out intentional walk to put runners on first and second and both would advance a base on a wild pitch. Ryan Aguyao would get an RBI single to drive in Waite giving the Aggies a 3-2 lead. Zac Fisher would hit a fly ball to center field and it appeared to be caught, however, the center fielder dropped the ball. Hipp would score on the play but Ryan Aguayo, believing the ball to be caught, would be thrown out at second base after realizing the ball had been dropped.
The Aggies would take a 4-2 lead to the bottom of the ninth and Scott Coffman would come in for starter Ryan Beck to try to close out the game. After allowing a leadoff walk, Coffman would retire the next two batters. Coffman would get what would appear to be the game-ending ground ball but a fielding error by shortstop Ty Forney would keep the Bulldogs' hopes alive putting runners at first and second. Coffman would hit the next batter to load the bases but Coffman would recover getting pinch hitter Justin Gordey to fly out to right field to end the game.
Coffman picked up his fifth save of the season while Ryan Beck picked up win number six on the season.
Mike Jefferson took the loss as starter Trevor Petersen went 7.0 innings giving up six hits, three walks and two runs.
Tanner Waite finished the game 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. Ryan Aguayo finished the game 1-for-2 with two walks and Zac Fisher finished the game 1=for-3 with a pair of RBIs. Chuck Howard went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
The two teams take to the field on Saturday for a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m. (MT).