RUSTON – A stout showing from starter Rawley Hector and a two-homer fourth inning were enough for Louisiana Tech to pull ahead and stay ahead of Nicholls State for a 3-2 win at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park, resulting in the first series victory for the Bulldogs in 2023.

Phillip Matulia kept his hot bat working with the 2-run home run that tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, and Ethan Bates closed out a knee-knocker of a ninth inning to earn the save in front of 2,084 fans on a crisp and cloudy Saturday afternoon.

Tech (4-2) did not manage a baserunner until the third inning, but the bats picked up just enough in the fourth. Dalton Davis’ single opened the door for the Matulia home run that was quickly followed by a Jorge Corona solo shot against Nicholls starter Devin Desandro that gave the ‘Dogs the lead they would cling to for the remainder of the game to top the Colonels (3-4). Matulia’s homer marks the outfielder’s fifth of the season.

Rawley Hector (1-1) gave up two runs in the top of the second, holding steady before and after that half inning on a gritty, defensive day where the Bulldogs tallied six hits— almost half of Nicholls’s 11 hits— but earned their win by leaving Colonel runners stranded in multiple innings and working out of several two-on, two-out jams.

Landon Tomkins entered in late relief to hold Nicholls at bay, but it was Ethan Bates moving from third base to the pitcher’s mound in the top of the ninth that stopped a threatening Nicholls team with runners at second and third from scoring.

Head coach Lane Burroughs said the game was “a lot different” than the previous nights, packed with lots of tough and tricky defensive plays that made the difference.

“I didn’t think we played our best game,” Burroughs said. “But we made it count. I thought Rawley Hector gave us a quality start … We made the most of our big inning. Dalton gets the hit, then Phil goes oppo home run, and then Jorge follows up, and you don’t think that’s going to be the difference, but it was.”

As Tech looks to Sunday to complete the sweep, coach Burroughs believes attacking Sunday games after two wins is what separates the good teams from the great ones.

“Clubs that are standing at the end of the year, they go for the kill tomorrow. Average teams are satisfied with two wins and winning the series, and that’s why we call Sunday ‘Toughness Sunday.'”


  • LA Tech now leads the all-time series over Nicholls State, 17-14. The Bulldogs have won 11 of the last 14 meetings over the Colonels.
  • LA Tech claims its third straight series all-time over Nicholls State.
  • For the third time this season, there was over 2,000 fans in attendance at the Love Shack.
  • The Bulldogs won their fourth straight one-run game (dating back to last season).
  • Dalton Davis extended his hitting streak to six games.
  • Philip Matulia homered in his fourth straight game (first Bulldog to do so since Jorge Corona did it in 2022). He now has 24 career home runs. He also had two RBIs on Saturday, marking the third straight game of driving in at least two runners.
  • Jorge Corona hit his first home run of the 2023 season and the 23rd of his career.
  • Rawley Hector collected his first win as a Bulldog on the mound, going 6.0 innings with four strikeouts.
  • Landon Tomkins made his team-leading third appearance out of the bullpen. He still has not allowed a run this season in 6.1 innings pitched.

LA Tech closes out its three-game series on Sunday against Nicholls State.  First pitch is set for 1 p.m. CT at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park.