RUSTON – Shreveport’s Steele Netterville had a pair of RBI Wednesday night and Louisiana Tech’s Kyle Crigger worked out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the ninth inning with minimal damage in a 6-4 non-conference baseball win over visiting Northwestern State.
Tech withstood Broch Holmes’ first career home run – a three-run, first-inning shot – and held off a ninth-inning Demon rally at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park. The neighborhood rivals meet again May 4 in Natchitoches.
Holmes’ blast to left-center field off Jarrett Whorff (4-5) with two outs in the first came after the lone walk issued by three Bulldogs’ pitchers and gave the Demons (17-19) the early momentum.
But it was NSU’s only tally until the ninth inning as Whorff and relievers Ryan Harland (four scoreless innings) and Crigger combined to strike out seven Demons and scatter three hits in the final six innings.
The Bulldogs (27-11) scored in each of the first four innings, snatching the lead in the third on an RBI from Walker Burchfield and a Philip Matulia sacrifice fly to center. The second RBI single by Netterville, the senior from Byrd, made it 5-3 in the fourth before Cole McConnell singled in another run.
While Tech managed just six singles, it took advantage of five walks and a pair of hit batters by Northwestern pitchers.
Both bullpens locked down after the fourth inning.
The Northwestern quartet of Donovan Ohnoutka, Dawson Flowers, Alex Makarewich and Josh Banes retired the final 11 Louisiana Tech hitters they faced and 12 of the final 13. The Bulldogs’ last hit was Cole McConnell’s RBI single in the fourth inning to put Louisiana Tech ahead 6-3.
After Gray Rowlett’s leadoff single for NSU in the fifth, Harland and Crigger allowed just two singles the rest of the game.
One of those – Jeffrey Elkins’ line drive single off Crigger’s leg – helped the Demons load the bases with no outs in the ninth. However, Crigger got a run-scoring double-play ball and a strikeout to earn his seventh save.
Tech won its fourth straight as Netterville extended his hitting streak to 10 games. It was the fifth consecutive game Bulldogs pitchers posted at least 10 strikeouts.
LSUS 6, SOUTHWESTERN ASSEMBLIES OF GOD 5 (10 innings): The Pilots (41-3) evaded an upset with two runs in the bottom of the ninth, then enjoyed a walkoff win an inning later. Third-ranked LSUS got a two-out, two-strike, two-run homer by Zyon Avery to stay alive. Pinch-hitter Zeke Maldonado singled in the decider after Josh Wunnenberg and Julian Flores drew walks to open the bottom of the 10th. The visitors (28-12) equalled the Pilots’ 10 hits but LSUS won its seventh in a row.
ULM 4, MCNEESE 3 (10 innings): Chase DeJean delivered a sacrifice fly to make the difference at Warhawk Field. McNeese (20-17) rallied to force extra innings with two in the eighth. ULM (13-21-1) took a second-inning 3-1 advantage on a bases-clearing double from Carson Jones.
CENTENARY 1-11, LETOURNEAU 2-4: The Ladies plated an astounding 10 runs in their last at-bat to avoid a sweep in Longview. Centenary (13-17) scored nine runs with two outs, including a two-run triple by Kaylee Patridge. An error by LeTourneau (12-22) allowed two tying runs to score, and two more runs crossed on another LETU error.
Photo by SADIE PATTON, Louisiana Tech
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