Northwestern State 1 Central Arkansas 0
NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State starting pitcher Ryan Zimmerman came through with flying colors on his first series opening start after he held Central Arkansas scoreless through 8-1/3 innings pitched as the Demons blanked the Bears 1-0 to open a Southland Conference baseball series.
Zimmerman (1-3) picked up his first win of the season after punching out eight Bear batters while walking none.
Ryan Sheppard earned his eighth save of the season after he struck out the only two batters faced in preserving the shutout as the Demons (19-22, 11-12 SLC) won for the second straight time.
“What can you say about Zim,” said head coach J.P. Davis. “That guy worked out of a few jams but he kept pumping strikes in there. He never beat himself tonight. He left a few balls up and gave up a few hits. But he got the ball down in the zone and never walked anybody.
Lamar 3 McNeese State 2
BEAUMONT, Texas – Ryan Saldivar hit an RBI single in the eighth to break a 2-2 tie and propel Lamar to a 3-2 win over McNeese State in a classic pitcher’s duel at Vincent-Beck Stadium in the first game of a split Southland Conference series Friday night.
Lamar’s Eric Harrington allowed two runs in the eighth and McNeese’s Tyler Davis surrendered a pair in the fourth as the starters allowed just 10 hits combined as neither factored into the decision. For Harrington, it is his fourth no decision, with seven wins and zero losses, as he struck out seven and allowed just one unearned run on four hits.
Instead, Ricky Testa (4-3) picked up the win for the Cardinals as he struck out four in 1.2 innings of one-hit ball, while Scott Holstein (2-5) was saddled with the loss after Saldivar’s hit and a pair of walks were the only men he allowed to reach base in his one inning of work.
Lamar (31-17, 15-10 SLC) extended its winning streak to seven games and remained in a tie for third in the SLC standings with UTSA and UT Arlington. The Cards had seven hits, four walks and left seven runners on base, with three in scoring position.
McNeese State (19-24, 8-17 SLC) dropped its seventh-straight game and managed just eight base runners on the night. Sam Merrill had two hits, a walk and a RBI to lead the Cowboy offense. Steven Irvine had a bunt single off Testa on a safety squeeze in the top of the eighth that tied the game at 2-2.
Southeastern Louisiana 9 Nicholls State 4
HAMMOND -Trailing by a run in the bottom of the seventh, the Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team (29-17, 16-9 Southland Conference) utilized the long ball to rally past Nicholls State (18-26, 8-17 SLC) and take the opener of a three-game series 9-4 on Friday night at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
The Lions jumped out to an early lead with a three-run third inning. Southeastern took advantage of consecutive two-out errors by the Colonel defense to put runners at second and third, and senior second baseman Ty Summerlin delivered with the first of two doubles on the night to score a pair and put the Lions out in front 2-0 after three.
After holding Nicholls scoreless through the first three innings, junior right handed starter Ryan Boudreaux ran in to trouble in the middle innings, allowing a solo homer in the fourth and three more runs in the sixth as Nicholls took a 4-2 lead after five and a half.
However, the Lions, who have rallied to claim 17 come-from-behind wins this year, wasted little time mounting their latest comeback effort.
Senior left fielder Brandon Street got the Lions’ long-ball onslaught going with a solo shot to left. Street’s team-leading seventh homer of the season made it 4-3 in the sixth.
Stephen F. Austin 3 Sam Houston State 2
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Sam Houston third baseman Ryan Mooney had to think that he had put the Bearkats on top with a two-run homer off of his bat in the top of the seventh, but SFA left fielder Ryan Priest took it away with a highlight-reel catch that proved to be the play of the game in SFA’s 3-2, series-opening win over Sam Houston on Friday.
That catch came after the `Kats (28-18, 14-11 SLC) had finally gotten to SFA (20-24, 11-13 SLC) starter Erich Lehmann, who pitched 6.1 no-hit innings to open the game against one of the league’s top offenses. It took him only 73 pitches to get 7.0 innings under his belt, striking out four and walking only one in winning his fifth consecutive league start to run his record to 6-3 on the year. Each of his wins this season have come in SLC play.
Chris Court and Richard Folmer continued to show why the `Jacks may have the best back end bullpen in the league by holding the `Kats scoreless in both the eighth and the ninth, including Folmer picking up his 10th save of the season.
UT Arlington 4 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 3
ARLINGTON, Texas- Andrew Kainer’s third RBI of the game – a fielder’s choice ground ball – in the seventh inning gave UT Arlington the game-winning run as the Mavericks topped Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 4-3 in the series opener on Friday evening at Clay Gould Ballpark in Arlington. The Mavericks’ victory marked career win No. 50 for second-year head coach Darin Thomas as UT Arlington improves to 24-21 overall and to 15-10 in the Southland Conference. The Islanders fall to 17-31 overall and to 8-17 in league play.
Just following the conclusion of the game Friday night, it was announced that UT Arlington and A&M Corpus Christi will finish their series on Saturday with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at noon due to inclement weather forecasted for Sunday.
The victory keeps the Mavericks in a three-way tie for third place in the SLC, as Lamar and UTSA both won on Friday night.
“This win is big because we struggled last week and we needed to get back on a winning track,” Thomas said. “There are a lot of factors to why we needed to win – and it wasn’t pretty – but we found a way to win and hopefully that gives us some momentum going into tomorrow.”
Texas A&M Corpus Christi Recap
UTSA 15 at Texas State 6
SAN MARCOS — UTSA scored nine unanswered runs in the third and fourth innings and the Roadrunners clubbed the second-most homers in school history en route to an easy 15-6 victory at No. 26 Texas State on Friday night in the opening contest of this weekend’s three-game Southland Conference series.
The Birds (26-19, 15-10 SLC), who won for the eighth time in their last 10 tilts, got two home runs from both sophomore Ryan Hutson and freshman Casey Selsor, while sophomores Brett Aguilar and Tyler Carpenter also left the park. The half dozen long balls just missed the program record of seven set in a 22-7 victory against Incarnate Word on April 29, 1997.
The 15 runs were the most scored by UTSA in the series since a 24-12 victory on April 2, 1995, which also was the last time the Roadrunners won by at least nine tallies.