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Southland Conference Recap for April 10th

This is your SLC recap for April 10th.

#22 Southeastern Louisiana 11 UT Arlington 5

Cody Gougler and Brock Hebert each went 4-for-5 to lead an 18-hit attack and No. 22 Southeastern Louisiana used a five-run sixth inning to pull away and defeat UT Arlington, 11-5, in a Southland Conference game Saturday afternoon at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.

The teams will play the rubber match of the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game can be heard in the Hammond area on KSLU-FM (90.9) and on the internet at

Joe Sparacino and Josh Cryer each belted solo home runs for Southeastern (25-7, 9-5 SLC) while Chris Franklin drove in three runs. Brandon Efferson (6-1) pitched seven innings, scattering eight hits and striking out four in helping Southeastern snap a two-game losing streak.

The Lions (No. 22 Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA; No. 24 in USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll) trailed 1-0 in the second inning before scoring three runs to take the lead for good. Sparacino, who went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks, belted a 2-and-0 pitch from UTA’s Rett Varner (3-4) over the right-field fence for his third home run of the season. Franklin later hit a one-out single to left field and moved to third when Chris Ernest singled to right. UTA right-fielder Preston Beck tried to throw Franklin out at third, allowing Ernest to reach second. FULL STORY

Texas State 7 Central Arkansas 3

After six innings of silence, the Texas State baseball team exploded for a half dozen hits and runs to spark a 7-3 comeback victory over Central Arkansas Saturday afternoon at Bobcat Field. With the win, Texas State claimed the series over UCA and improved to 19-10 overall and 11-3 in Southland Conference play.

A solo home run from Clay Washington, along with a solid effort from Dustin Ward sent all the momentum UCA’s (9-21, 3-11 SLC) way to open the game.

Laurn Randell answered with an infield single in the Bobcats half of the first, but Ward retired the next three batters to help maintain the edge. The Bears struck again in the fourth with back-to-back hits to extend the margin and a sacrifice fly from Michael Pair put the team up 3-0.

Texas State struggled at the plate with only four hits through five innings, leaving six runners on base. It wasn’t until the seventh when the team finally broke through Ward’s wall with back-to-back base hits from pinch hitters Tyler Sibley and Andrew Stumph. Laurn Randell was hit by a pitch to load the diamond and Bret Atwood came through with an RBI single pushed through the left to side to initiate the rally. FULL STORY

Photo Gallery From the Game

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 5 Lamar 4

Trey Hernandez hit a bases-loaded single through a drawn in infield in the bottom of the ninth with one out as the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team downed Lamar 5-4 on Saturday at Whataburger Field.

The Islanders (13-19, 5-9 in the SLC) will go for the series win on Sunday when they host the finale at 11 a.m. The time has been changed due to inclement weather scheduled to move into the area on Sunday. Lamar (18-14, 5-9) won the opener.

After Marc Damon worked out of a jam in the top of the ninth, Jeramie Marek led the bottom of the ninth off with a single to right and went to second when Weston Montgomery’s bunt found a hole in the Lamar infield. After Caleb Marx executed a sacrifice bunt off Garrett Steward (1-3), Chris Vergne drew a walk from Brandon Chambers. Hernandez then hit an 0-2 to pitch up the middle to drive in Marek for the winning run.

The win was called “gutsy’ by head coach Scott Malone as Lamar seeming was one big hit away from breaking opening the game. Lamar would strand 14 hitters in the game.

“I was really proud of everyone – the hitters and the pitchers,” said Malone. “Not because we played great today, but because how we battled. It was a gutsy performance and the everyone played with a lot of energy and excitement.” FULL STORY

Sam Houston State 7 McNeese State 1

What a difference a day makes.

McNeese State shelled the Sam Houston State pitching staff on Friday for 17 hits and 14 runs, but Saturday’s game was a different story.

The Cowboys were stymied the entire afternoon by junior Dallas Gallant, who threw a complete game and rendered the Southland Conference’s most potent offense ineffective.

The Bearkats used a big fifth inning to take a commanding 6-0 lead and held on to defeat McNeese State 7-1 on Saturday to even the series.

“It all starts with the guy out on the bump,” Sam Houston head coach Mark Johnson said, “and Dallas did a great job for us. He was able to throw the breaking pitch behind in the count. It was really fun to watch him pitch. He was setting up hitters. He was calling his own game and really did a good job.

“We talked for a long time last night and this morning about character following blowout games and embarrassing games, which yesterday was in all facets. It says something about our team.”

Northwestern State 5 Nicholls State 0

Ryan Zimmerman continued his dominance on the mound on Saturday after he stifled Nicholls to just five hits and no runs while striking out four batters in 6 2-3 innings as he guided Northwestern State to a 5-0 shutout win over Nicholls in game two of a Southland Conference baseball series.

Closer Chad Sheppard hurled the final 2 1-3 innings to pick up his eighth save of the season as the Demons improved to 20-10 on the year and 8-5 in conference play. Nicholls fell to 15-15 overall and 6-8 in the league.

“I’m very proud of the way we responded after the way we played yesterday,” said NSU head coach J.P. Davis. “Zim (Zimmerman) was outstanding and that’s what we were expecting. The plan was for him to get us to the late innings with the lead so we can get the ball into Shep’s (Sheppard) hands, and that’s what he did. And of course, Shep was outstanding.”

Sheppard gave up just one hit while striking out four with no walks in getting his first save since earning his career record-breaking save against Texas A&M back on March 23. FULL STORY

Stephen F. Austin 13 UTSA 9

Stephen F. Austin crushed a season best four home runs and struck out a combined 11 hitters in winning its fifth straight game, 13-9, over UTSA to clinch the series Saturday at Roadrunner Field.

The `Jacks (21-9, 9-4 Southland) tied its longest win streak of the year with its fifth consecutive victory and will go for its first-ever sweep on UTSA’s (12-17, 3-11 Southland) home turf on Sunday.

SFA pounded out 16 hits on the night with every starter reaching base at least once, including leadoff man Garrett Smith reaching all six times he came to the plate with a double and three walks, and Riley Huble’s second consecutive 4-for-4 day in a conference game. Tanner Hines tied his school record 19-game hit streak with an eighth-inning single while Michael Haynes, Jarid Scarafiotti, Ryan Priest and Bo Coffman all launched homers in the 13-run effort.

Brad Oates earned his first win as a Lumberjack with 2.2 innings in relief of Jared West, and Cory Ochs, Cody Priest and Jason West combined to go the rest of the way.

D. D. Towler was a late substitution to get the start for UTSA, and allowed six runs with five strikeouts and just one walk in 3.1 innings before Mike Pierce eventually got the loss, walking four and allowing three runs in just 1.1 innings.

It did not look as though the game would turn out as it did early on as Towler kept the `Jacks off the scoreboard in the first two frames and was spotted a 4-0 lead after the first, with Casey Selsor delivering a three-run homer to left field to cap the inning. FULL STORY

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