April 21, 2012
THIBODAUX, La. - Nicholls used a big sixth inning to overcome a two-run deficit and hand Lamar University a 10-4 Southland Conference baseball loss Saturday afternoon at Didier Field.
Lamar led 4-2 through the top half of the sixth inning, but the Colonels posted seven runs in the bottom half of the inning to even the three game conference series at one win apiece. The two teams, who are battling for a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament, will play the deciding game Sunday afternoon at 1.
The win gives the Colonels a one game lead on the Cardinals in the Southland Conference standings. Lamar fell to 14-23 on the year and 7-13 in league play, while Nicholls is now 19-19 on the year and 8-12 in the SLC.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third inning as designated hitter Seth Dornak led off the inning with his first home run in a Lamar uniform.
Junior right hander Carter Hahn held the Colonels to just two hits over the first four innings, but gave up back-to-back solo home runs to Beau Faulk and Austin Flores to lead off the fifth inning and put Nicholls on top 2-1. The duo would combine for five of the Colonels' 13 hits.
LU responded with three runs in the top of the sixth to grab a 4-2 lead. Center fielder Garret Autrey led off the inning with a double to right center and came home to tie the game at two on a Jeff Abt single through the right side. Abt, who advanced to second on a throw to the plate, extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his only hit of the game.
Tommy Henk then grounded out to second to move Abt to third, and Abt would come home one batter later on a V.J. Bunner double down the left field line. Shortstop Aaron Olivas followed with a double to right center to score Bunner and chase Nicholls' starting pitcher Patrick Shreve from the game.
Hahn, who took the loss to fall to 1-2 on the year, could not stop the Nicholls offense in the sixth inning. Philip Lyons, who was 3-for-4 on the day, led off with a single and moved to second on a walk to Jeremy Hill. Lyons would score on a sacrifice bunt by Blake Bergeron who reached first on an error by Henk.
Lamar then went to the bullpen and brought in freshman Vernnon Maxwell with two runners on and no outs. Right fielder Michael LeGrange homered to left field to clear the bases and give the Colonels a 6-4 lead. NSU would add three more runs in the inning to go ahead 9-4.
The Colonels then scored an insurance run in the seventh off Ben Coram. Catcher Cody Dufrene would drive in the run on a sacrifice fly.
Hahn allowed five runs on five hits with five strikeouts in 5.0 innings of work. Maxwell managed to record only one out, and was on the hook for four earned runs on five hits.
Donnie White (2-1) would get the win for Nicholls in relief as he held the Cards hitless for 3.2 innings. Lamar's only two base runners off White reached on walks.
Third baseman Darian Johnson, who now leads the Cardinals with a .302 batting average, finished the game 3-for-5. Olivas was the only other Cardinal with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with one RBI.