Demons sweep Islanders, G-Men pound Alcorn; Bulldogs, LSU drop series

DEMONS DELIGHTED: A three-game Southland Conference sweep lifted Northwestern State to 5-1 in the Southland Conference.

JOURNAL SPORTS

NATCHITOCHES — The Northwestern State baseball team tried to solve Texas A&M-Corpus Christi left-hander Jaime Ramirez Jr. for 101 pitches Sunday afternoon.

It took Bryce Holmes just five to figure out Islander right-hander Leo Perez.

Holmes drilled a fastball over the right-center field wall to lead off the bottom of the 10th inning for a walk-off win, a 1-0 Southland Conference triumph over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to complete a three-game sweep.

Holmes’ second home run of the year came after the Demons (15-12, 5-1) were handcuffed by Ramirez for nine innings in a Sunday pitchers’ duel between the Islander left-hander and Demon righties Drayton Brown and Gus Collins.

When Ramirez gave way, Holmes delivered.

Perez got a first-pitch called strike before missing with three straight efforts, putting Holmes in an advantage count. With one swing, he provided the Demons’ first conference sweep of the season and NSU’s 12th win in its past 15 games.

“It was good to see us continue to fight and win a game a different way,” said sixth-year head coach Bobby Barbier, whose team had scored 42 runs in its first five conference games.

While Ramirez scattered four hits in nine shutout innings, the Demon pair of Brown and Collins did the same against the Islanders, keeping Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (15-15, 2-4) off the board with some help from their defense.

A day earlier, nine starters scored a run in an 11-8 win. NSU exploded for eight runs in the third to take control.

In Friday’s opener, Gabe Colaianni’s RBI single started a two-run sixth inning and the NSU right fielder capped a career-high-tying, three-hit performance with an RBI triple to end the Demons’ three-run seventh in an 8-2 victory.

LOUISIANA TECH: In Hattiesburg, Miss., the Bulldogs were blanked 8-0 Sunday in the rubber match of their Conference USA series at Southern Miss.

LA Tech (19-9, 6-3 C-USA) was overcome by Southern Miss (19-8, 7-2 C-USA) behind a seven-inning scoreless outing from Hurston Waldrep, who allowed only one hit and struck out 10. The Golden Eagles blew it open with a four-spot in the seventh.

The Bulldogs rebounded from an 8-2 Friday night loss to square the series Saturday with a 4-2 win.

LSU: Right-hander Joseph Gonzalez limited LSU to three runs over six innings Saturday, as Auburn (19-8, 5-4) posted a 6-4 win over the Tigers in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field, and claimed the Southeastern Conference series.

LSU (19-9, 4-5) had a subpar day at the plate Saturday, although first baseman Tre’ Morgan collected three hits and two RBI, and third baseman Jacob Berry produced three hits and one RBI to lead LSU’s offensive effort.

The Tigers responded to a 6-5 Auburn victory in the series opener Thursday by bouncing the visitors 9-2 Friday night.

GRAMBLING: Bad news is the Tigers surrendered 10 runs Saturday to Alcorn State. Didn’t matter – the G-Men piled up 32. That came on the heels of an 11-1 punchout of the Braves Friday, and the Tigers kept pounding away Sunday with a 14-4 romp. Grambling (11-17, 6-3 in the SWAC) did what nearly everyone else has against the hapless Braves (1-19, 1-8).

The Tigers visit LSU Tuesday.

ULM: The Warhawks dropped a 5-2 decision Sunday to UT-Arlington, flipping the same score in the Mavericks’ favor from what worked for ULM (9-16-1, 4-4-1) a day earlier. UTA (10-17, 4-5) opened the Sun Belt series with a 3-2 triumph on Friday night. ULM visits Stephen F. Austin today.

Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State