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Southland Conference Recap for May 9th

MitchellPittsTxState No. 29 Texas State 6, McNeese State 3
LAKE CHARLES, La. – Sophomore Mitchell Pitts earned his fifth win of the season Sunday afternoon at Cowboy Diamond after tossing seven complete innings and holding McNeese State to just one run off four hits while striking out four in No. 29 Texas State’s 6-3 series-clinching victory.

The Bobcats improved to 30-17 overall and 20-7 in Southland Conference action with its eighth league series of the season. Texas State holds a game-and-a-half lead over Stephen F. Austin (32-13, 18-8 Southland) in the league standings for first place.

Pitts and Tyler Davis starting in a pitcher’s duel Sunday afternoon, but Texas State broke down the foe’s wall in the fourth inning with an RBI base hit from Kyle Kubitza. The Bobcats went down in order in the fifth, but came right back at McNeese in the sixth. Kyle Livingstone leadoff the frame with a double down the left line and two outs later, Andrew Stumph brought him home on the a deep single into centerfield. Stumph tried to stretch the hit into extra bases, but was thrown out heading to second to end the inning.

A McNeese error in the seventh allowed Texas State to score three in the inning, two of which were unearned, and Clint Vest knocked in the final Bobcat run with an RBI base hit into right in the eighth.

After allowing just one runner to reach second base through six innings, Pitts surrendered his only run of the afternoon in the seventh. Steven Irvine hit a one-out double to left field and a base hit into centerfield from Seth Granger brought him home.

Jeff McVaney relieved Pitts in the eighth and struck out his first two batters faced before retiring the side in order. Garret Carruth closed out the ninth with a pair of strikeouts. The senior allowed two runs off two hits with a walk in the frame.

Texas State recorded 13 hits in the win, led by Livingstone’s and Vest’s three-hit afternoon. McNeese’s Irvine recorded the only multi-hit day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Davis took the loss for the Cowboys and fell to 3-5 on the season.

Texas State will return to the field Wednesday night when they host No. 4 TCU at Bobcat Field. This will mark the second meeting between the two teams this season. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

Stephen F. Austin 11, UT Arlington 6

ARLINGTON, Texas – Stephen F. Austin pounded out 18 hits to help get Justin Braddock his first win in over a month as the Lumberjacks knocked off UT Arlington, 11-6, Sunday at Clay Gould Park to stay in second place in the Southland Conference standings.

The Lumberjacks (32-13, 18-8 Southland) improved to 17-4 in true road games with the win, with eight of the nine starters in the lineup had at least one hit and one RBI. Jordan Lewis and Michael Haynes combined to reach base in eight of 10 plate appearances, while leadoff man Garrett Smith finished 4-for-6 with four singles and a team-high three RBI.

Justin Braddock earned his first win since an April 3rd win over Texas State with 6.1 innings of work to run his record to 5-3, striking out four and walking just one while allowing just three runs. Cory Ochs picked up his second save of the season with three strikeouts in the final 2.2 innings of the game.

Logan Bawcom took the tough loss for UT Arlington (25-24, 17-10 Southland) as his 6.2 innings marked the first time in seven starts that he had not pitched at least seven innings. He struck out seven and allowed just one walk, but was forced to throw 135 pitches in his time on the mound.

Both teams managed to get on the board in the second inning with Smith delivering a one-out RBI single for SFA and Steffan Guest did the same in the UTA half. The Mavs then jumped out in front one inning later with a pair of runs for a 3-1 lead, using a Jordan Vaughn double and a Michael Choice single to get out in front.

Smith rolled a single through the left side of the infield to cut the lead to 3-2 with two outs in the fourth, and Darren Crabtree tied it up with his eighth homer of the year in the top of the sixth off of Bawcom, a solo homer to lead off the inning.

Meanwhile, Braddock managed to keep the Mavs off the board until the ‘Jacks were able to get him the lead in the top of the seventh. Haynes started it off by being hit by a Bawcom full-count pitch and after Smith moved him over, Tanner Hines drove him in with a hard grounder up the middle for the RBI, giving SFA a 4-3 advantage.

The Mavs threatened to tie the game in its half of the seventh, but after intentionally walking the all-American Choice with the tying run on third, Ochs coaxed a routine fly ball from Preston Beck to left field to get SFA out of the inning.

SFA then went in search of some insurance in the eighth, and instead came back with seven runs on seven singles. The ‘Jacks sent 12 hitters to the plate in the inning and connected on five straight singles at one point in the frame, with all but one driving in runs. The Mavs went through three pitchers in the inning, but the damage was already done and the ‘Jacks took a comfortable 11-3 lead into the ninth.

UTA added three runs in the final inning on a long three-run homer from Choice, but Ochs followed that by striking out Beck looking to pick up his second multi-inning save of the season.

The ‘Jacks will next wrap up its midweek schedule for this season when they travel back to the Metroplex for a Tuesday battle with Dallas Baptist. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Southeastern Louisiana 6, Sam Houston State 5

HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana’s Josh Cryer hit a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Lions rallied to defeat Sam Houston State, 6-5, to earn a sweep of its Southland Conference series on Sunday at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.

Cass Hargis highlighted a four-run sixth inning with a bases-clearing double as Southeastern (36-14, 18-9 Southland) was hit by single-game school record seven pitches and earned its first three-game sweep since taking three games from UTSA in March.

"Our guys did a good job battling all weekend against Sam Houston State," Southeastern coach Jay Artigues said. "All three guys pitched well for us today and we got some big hits when we needed them. It was huge to win the third game. After winning the first two, we could have rested on our laurels, but didn’t. The kids did a great job in finishing off for a great weekend."

Southeastern’s Justin Boudreaux led off the ninth with a single to left and attempted to stretch his hit into a double, but was thrown out by Tyler Fiebrich. Jeff Harkensee then fanned for the second out before Cody Gougler reached on an infield single that glanced off the glove of Sam Houston reliever Matt Shelton (5-4).

Joe Sparacino was then hit by a pitch, advancing Gougler to second and both runners advanced on a passed ball by Michael Hilliard. Cryer, who went 1-for-3 at the plate and was hit twice to extend his school-record to 60, then chopped a 2-and-1 pitch over the head of Sam Houston third baseman Michael Burchett and into left field, driving in Gougler for the winning run.

"We said before the game that the team that does the little things the best would win the game and we were able to do that," Artigues said. "We stood in there (in the batter’s box) and got hit by seven pitches. Their pitchers tried to jam us inside and our hitters held their ground and that was the difference in the game.

"Trey Martin’s at bat in the sixth was the big play in the game for us as he fouled off three pitches with two strikes and was eventually hit by a pitch. That fired us up and gave our guys another chance to get the big hit."

Southeastern broke up a scoreless game in the fifth after Martin led off with a single and stole second. A grounder by Hargis advanced Martin to third and Boudreaux followed with a sacrifice fly that gave the Lions a 1-0 lead.

Sam Houston (17-32, 9-18 Southland) took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Braeden Riley and Mark Hudson before Taylor Davis hit a bloop single to center off Southeastern starter Jordan Hymel to drive in Hudson. The Bearkats put runners on the corners after Ryan Mooney chased Hymel with a single, but Davis was picked off at third on an attempted squeeze bunt and Lion reliever Tyler Watkins fanned Kevin Miller to end the inning.

Southeastern tied the game in the bottom half of the frame as Gougler was hit by a pitch, Sparacino singled and Chris Ernest was intentionally walked two batters later. Gougler tied the game when he scored on a sacrifice fly by Brock Hebert before Martin worked the count to 3-and-2 before being hit by a Brandon Kimbrel pitch to load the bases for a second time in the inning.

Hargis, who finished 3-for-5 in the game and increased his career hit total to 219, chased Kimbrel three pitches later when he doubled into the left-field corner, giving Southeastern a 5-2 lead.

"It was at the point in the game where we needed the big hit," Hargis, who was 2-for-10 in the first two games of the series, said. "Trey had a great at bat and got hit by a pitch to extend the inning and I was just looking for a pitch that I could handle."

Sam Houston tied the game in the ninth after Watkins retired Ryan Mooney with a fly ball to right. Pinch-hitter Jordan Bunch singled through the right side before pinch-hitter Greg Olson reached on an error by Hebert. Fiebrich, who entered as a pinch-hitter, then drilled a 1-and-1 pitch from Watkins over the right-field fence to tie the game before Southeastern reliever Josh Janway fanned Daniel Nottebart and got Riley to ground out to end the inning.

Janway (4-1), the third pitcher used by Southeastern, earned the win. Hymel pitched 5.1 innings for the Lions allowing seven hits and striking out seven. Watkins pitched three innings and allowed two hits and two earned runs with three strikeouts.

Davis went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead Sam Houston while Kimbrel pitched 5.2 innings, allowing six hits and five runs. Shelton pitched the final three innings for the Bearkats, scattering four hits and allowing an unearned run.

Southeastern, which is two games behind Southland Conference leader Texas State in the league standings, will return to action on Friday when it travels to face Stephen F. Austin in a three-game series in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Lamar 9, Northwestern State 6 (10 innings)

NATCHITOCHES, La. – Joey Latulippe’s two-run double highlighted a four-run 10th inning as Lamar posted a 9-6 win over host Northwestern State in a Southland Conference baseball game Sunday.

Wazde Mathis had three hits and two RBI, including driving in the go-ahead run in the 10th when he singled home V.J. Bunner, who was pinch-running for Ryan Meade, who led off the inning with a triple.

Latulippe had three RBI on the day, while Meade collected two hits for Lamar (28-21, 13-14 Southland), which sits all alone in seventh place in the Southland.

Lamar’s Jonathan Dziedzic (3-4) picked up the win, allowing three hits and three runs over 5.1 innings. Dziedzic walked two and struck out six.

Lamar carried a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth before Eric DeBlanc blasted a three-run homer off Dziedzic to tie the score. That set up the heroics of Mathis, Latulippe and company.

Colin Bear had three RBI for the Demons (29-18, 16-10 Southland).

Lamar returns to action with a three-game series at UT Arlington next weekend. Game times are set for 6:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

UTSA 6, Nicholls 1

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Junior Taylor Walton made every pitch of his 21st birthday count, as the right-hander allowed just an unearned run in an eight-hit complete game and UTSA finished off a weekend sweep of Nicholls with a 6-1 victory on Sunday afternoon at Roadrunner Field.
UTSA (17-27, 8-19 Southland) not only picked up its first sweep in Southland Conference play this season, but it now has won three consecutive contests for the first time since opening the campaign with a program-record five consecutive victories. The Roadrunners also stretched their winning streak to 11 games overall and 14 in a row at Roadrunner Field against the Colonels (22-24, 11-16 Southland).
Walton (5-1) was outstanding in his fourth start of the spring. The Midland, Texas, native, coming back just two days after throwing a pair of relief innings in the series opener, retired the last seven hitters he faced and 12 of the final 14 overall in the 130-pitch, 87-strike performance. He struck out two and did not walk a batter in his third consecutive quality start.
"I knew this was an important game for us because everyone from here on out is a must-win for us," Walton said after the game. "I was able to keep the ball down and my fastball was really moving a lot today. I also was able to mix in my change-up to keep them off balance."
It marked the third time this season that Walton, who allowed just three runs (two earned) in 11 innings this weekend, has started on a Sunday after throwing in relief on a Friday night. It is something that he not only has been successful doing, but a challenge he has relished.
"It’s been pretty easy because I’m playing baseball," Walton said. "My arm feels great and knowing that coach (Sherman) Corbett has the confidence to put me in these situations is a great feeling every time I step on the mound."
The Roadrunners gave him all the support he would need with a two-run second and they never looked back.
Freshman Ryan Dalton led off the stanza with his team-leading 14th home run of the year (t-2nd Southland/ranks second nationally among frosh). Junior Ryan Hutson followed with a double down the left-field line and he came home three batters later on an infield single off the bat of freshman Daniel Rockett.
UTSA tacked on three more runs with two down in the fourth, which chased Nicholls starter Jarret Dunnam (3-7) from the contest.
Rockett began the rally when he was hit by a pitch with one down. After sophomore Casey Selsor drew a walk two hitters later, senior Lance Brown followed with an RBI single to left center to plate Rockett. Senior Ryan Rummel then laced a double to left center, which brought home two more runs.
The Birds went on to add a mark in the eighth on Selsor’s run-scoring double down the left-field line that scored senior Jeff Taliaferro, who led off the frame with a two-bagger of his own.
Dunnam coughed up five runs on a half dozen hits, walked four and struck out three in his 3.2 innings of work.
Rummel went 3-for-4 with two doubles to lead UTSA at the plate, while Hutson and Selsor added two hits apiece.
Blake Bergeron and Steven Gauthe led Nicholls with two hits.
UTSA continues its season-long eight-game home stand next weekend when McNeese State (27-20, 15-12 Southland) comes to town. First pitch in Friday’s opener is slated for 6 p.m.

Central Arkansas 8, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 8

CONWAY, Ark. – Central Arkansas rallied from a 7-0 deficit Sunday at Bear Stadium but had to settle for an 8-8 tie against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi because of Southland Conference travel rules for Sunday games.

The Bears (15-31-1, 6-20-1 Southland) took an 8-7 lead with eight consecutive runs from the fifth through seventh innings, including five in the seventh. But the Islanders (19-28-1, 9-17-1 Southland) tied it in the bottom of the ninth as the three-hour, 10-minute time limit approached. After the Islanders recorded the final out in the bottom of the ninth inning, the game was called by umpires at the 3:04 mark.

A&M-Corpus Christi went ahead 1-0 in the second inning, then had back-to-back three-run innings in the fourth and fifth to take a 7-0 lead. But the Bears scored three in the bottom of the fifth, with Michael Pair’s RBI double, Zack Dickson’s RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to Tye Throneberry.

The Bears came back with five in the seventh, including a grand slam by sophomore right fielder Jake Fuller. Throneberry added an RBI single as UCA took an 8-7 lead. In the top of the ninth, Jake Olier led off with a single for the Islanders and Jeremy Pinder pinch ran for him. He moved to second on a ground out and to third on a wild pitch, eventually tying the game on Trey Hernandez’ sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Bears put one runner on base when Dickson had an infield single, but A&M-Corpus Christi reliever Chris Pena got the final two outs to end it.

Pair, a junior outfielder/catcher batting in the leadoff spot for the first time this season, had his second four-hit game of the year, going 4-for-6 as UCA piled up 16 hits. Fuller, who entered in the sixth inning, went 2-for-3 with four RBI, while Dickson was 3-for-5. Blake Roberts and Kyle Prevett had two hits apiece. Freshman righthander Clint Green threw 3.2 innings of two-hit relief for the Bears, allowing one run.

For the Islanders, right fielder Jacob Perales was 3 for 4 and catcher Omar Garcia was 3-for-5.

UCA plays at Memphis Tuesday night.

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