Demons, Bulldogs roll in homefield sweeps

DEMON DOUBLE: Cameron Parikh lashed a three-run double Sunday as Northwestern State finished a series slaughter of Alcorn State, outscoring the Braves 55-5.

JOURNAL STAFF

NATCHITOCHES – The Northwestern State baseball team took equal parts of its offense from the first two games of its series against Alcorn State and blended them Sunday afternoon.

The result was a patient, productive approach that produced a 16-1 victory and an overwhelming three-game sweep at Brown-Stroud Field.

Northwestern (6-9) scored in every inning taking a Saturday doubleheader (20-3, 19-1) over the winless (0-11) visitors. NSU drew a school-record 17 walks in the opener and pounded a season-high 14 hits in the nightcap.

Sunday, the Demons drew double-figure walks for the third straight game, drawing 12 free passes, and reached double figures in hits for the second straight game, tallying 11.

Jeffrey Elkins again was in the middle of the offense, drilling an opposite-field, three-run home run in the second inning. It was Elkins’ second three-run home run in as many games and part of a weekend in which the junior left fielder went 6-for-9 with two doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs.

An inning later, Cameron Parikh delivered a two-out, bases-clearing double to right-center field that blew the game open.

LOUISIANA TECH ALSO DOMINANT: Three Louisiana Tech pitchers, led by five innings of three-hit ball from starter Jarrett Whorff, blanked Houston Baptist 6-0 on Sunday afternoon at J.C. Love Field to complete a sweep of a three-game series.

LA Tech (11-5) recorded its first shutout this season and finished a dominant weekend, outscoring HBU 40-5. The Bulldogs mauled the Huskies 22-2 Friday afternoon, then after two inches of snowfall overnight, cleared the field and pounded the visitors 12-3 Saturday.

Kyle Hasler’s two-out, two-run single in the first inning moved Tech on top Sunday, and three of four runs in the fourth frame came in on two errors by HBU (6-11).

LSU SWEEPS BETHUNE-COOKMAN: Sixth-ranked LSU erupted for 11 runs on 11 hits in the first three innings Sunday, as the Tigers posted a 15-0 victory over Bethune-Cookman in Baton Rouge at Alex Box Stadium.

LSU improved to 13-3 with its fourth straight win, while Bethune-Cookman fell to 5-10. The Wildcats were competitive in the first two games of the series, falling 8-7 Friday afternoon and 5-1 Saturday.

Junior third baseman Jack Merrifield ripped a seventh-inning RBI single into center field for Friday’s game-winner. The Tigers trailed 6-2 entering the bottom of the fifth inning.

Sunday, LSU collected a season-high 18 hits, featuring home runs by rightfielder Giovanni DiGiacomo, centerfielder Dylan Crews and second baseman Cade Doughty. Shortstop Jordan Thompson was 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and three RBI.

ULM GETS SERIES WIN AT NICHOLLS: In Thibodaux, the Warhawks won a 2-1 pitchers’ duel Sunday to take the series with the Colonels. ULM won the opener 10-8 as Landon Cato homered twice, but Nicholls bounced back for a 5-2 victory Saturday.

Mason Holt’s eighth-inning solo shot Sunday made it 2-0, and the Warhawks (4-10) blunted a Colonels’ rally in the bottom half. ULM pitchers Tyler Lien and Lucas Wepf shut down Nicholls (9-8), which managed only three hits in seven innings off Lien and scored an unearned run against Wepf.

GRAMBLING SALVAGES SUNDAY: At Grambling, after two narrow defeats (2-1 Friday, 15-6 in 10 innings Saturday) in the first Southwestern Athletic Conference series of the spring, the Tigers pounded Alabama State 19-8 in a run-rule seven-inning contest Sunday.

Grambling lined seven doubles, one by LaMarcus Jones, who also homered and had 4 RBI in an 18-hit onslaught. The Tigers scored four times in three of their six at-bats and tallied in every frame.

Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State