NATCHITOCHES – The Northwestern State baseball team had its chances to take control of Thursday night’s Southland Conference series opener against New Orleans.
While the Demons could not do so, the Privateers capitalized on their late-game opportunity, posting a three-run seventh inning to take a 6-4 series-opening win at Brown-Stroud Field.
Northwestern State (24-25, 11-11) had its opportunities early.
The Demons stranded eight runners in the first four innings, including leaving the bases loaded in the second inning after Larson Fontenot scored on a throwing error to give the Demons a 1-0 lead.
NSU wasted four runners in scoring position in the first four innings, allowing New Orleans (26-20, 12-10) to remain close and take the lead on a pair of sixth-inning solo home runs by Miguel Useche and Jeissy DeLaCruz.
UNO’s two-run sixth was the lone multi-run inning against NSU left-hander Cal Carver, who left after allowing three earned runs in 6 1-3 innings, turning things over to Gus Collins (3-1) after Isaac Williams’ one-out hustle double in the seventh.
Kasten Furr welcomed Collins with a game-tying RBI single and, after a walk to Parkway product Amani Larry, the Privateers took the lead on a two-base wild pitch that scored Furr from second and a passed ball that scored Larry.
The Demons were unable to solve Privateers reliever Jack Williams (6-1) for the second time this season.
Williams earned his second win against Northwestern this spring, tossing 3 2-3 hitless innings of scoreless relief with four strikeouts. In two games against the Demons this season, Williams has thrown 8 2-3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out eight.
With the loss, the Demons fell two games behind conference co-leaders McNeese and Southeastern, both of whom won Thursday, with two games to play in the conference season. NSU remains mathematically alive for a share of the Southland Conference regular-season championship entering the final two games of league play.
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