No. 1 Pilots cruise to RRAC Finals
April 30, 2012
SHREVEPORT, La. - The LSU Shreveport Pilots will advance to the Red River Athletic Conference Championship game for the second straight year in a row. The defending tournament champions knocked off the Texas at Brownsville Scorpions on Monday afternoon 11-5 at Pilot Field. The Pilots have won five of the last six conference tournaments and will be the third time that they will play for the title in the friendly confines of Pilot Field.
Kyle Pearson got the Pilots on the board early jump starting his monster day at the plate with a two-run homer bringing around Ridge Gonsoulin who reached on what would be the first of two errors in the game for UTB's second baseman Scott Frazier.
Frazier misplayed another grounder from Gonsoulin an inning later and Pearson connected for his second homerun of the day, this time a three-run blast to boost the Pilots to a 5-0 lead after two innings.
UTB (30-25) plated a pair of runs in the third inning to trim the LSUS' lead to 5-2. LSUS answered with a four-run rally to take the wind out of the sails increasing their lead to 9-2 with Greg Friesen delivering a three-run homer over the center field wall.
Pearson's day at the plate was not done after a pair of homers, a single and a walk, as he came to the plate in the eighth inning ripping a RBI-triple to right center needing only a double for the cycle but he never got to bat again in the game.
The Pilots had only two hitters in the game to record multi-hits and they were also the only two that drove in runs with Pearson having a great day at the dish with a perfect 4-for-4 performance with two homers, a triple, and a walk complimented by seven runs batted in, just one shy of his season-high of eight. Friesen drove in four including the homer and was 2-for-4 as the Pilots blasted 10 hits in the contest.
The Scorpions have Peter Maldonado to thank for the game being decided by only six runs as the right fielder made some outstanding plays in the outfield. The Pilots had a pair of runners on in the fifth with only one out and he laid out for a liner to rob David Dorton from an extra base hit as the catch cooled off the Pilot offense in the inning.
Later in the game in the sixth inning Maldonado made a shoe top catch on a Friesen liner and then doubled off Pearson at first to stymie another LSUS potential rally. Maldonado also helped their cause with the bat as he was the only Scorpion to register a multi-hit game going 3-for-5 at the plate but fortunately for the Pilots there were no runners in scoring position prior to his hits.
Logan Norris (7-1) picked up the win for the Pilots tossing six innings and striking out six while dancing around two walks and five scattering hits as he allowed just two earned runs. Jason Mouton worked a scoreless seventh inning while Cam Ellis and Jake Kight allowed a run in their innings of relief.
The Pilots need only one win on Championship Tuesday while the Bacone Warriors will need to beat the NAIA's top team twice to claim the title. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and the live play-by-play action can be heard live on the internet; to listen to the live broadcast click here.