No. 1 Pilots crush Bobcats in Opening Round
May 11, 2012
PADUCAH, Ky. – The no. 1 LSU Shreveport Pilots got some early timely hits and another solid outing from Matt Lackie to storm past the Peru State Bobcats 9-3 in Thursday’s NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round game at Brooks Stadium. The Pilots pounded 11 hits while Lackie held the free-swinging Bobcats to five base-knocks.
Lackie (11-0) set the tone early retiring eight of the first 10 batters that he faced. The right hander struggled through a rocky sixth inning as the Bobcats scored their first two runs of the contest thanks to two singles, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch. The three outs recorded in the inning were all strikeouts as it gave Lackie some momentum after the sixth as he struck out a seven batters in his last three innings of work. He needed 138 pitches to work 7 and 2/3 allowing two earned runs, two walks, and 11 punchouts.
The Pilots (49-4) were led by Stephen Hobbins at the plate with a 3-for-3 night with a pair of runs batted in while David Dorton joined the multi-hit list with two hits in four trips and two RBIs. Kade Billeaudeaux joined the mult-RBI club in the game with three runs batted with one hit in three plate appearances.
Peru State (36-17) had two hitters with multi-hits with Jonathan Castillo going 2-for-5 and Derek Voigt had two hits in four trips to the plate.
The nation’s top team plated four runs in the bottom of the second with Stephen Hobbins driving in the first run of the game with a sac fly to plate Greg Friesen who started the rally with a lead-off walk. Kade Billeaudeaux then brought in Devin Greco to make it 2-0 and then a pair of RBI-singles from David Dorton and Ridge Gonsoulin doubled the LSUS’ lead to 4-0 after two complete innings of play.
Hobbins drove in his second run of the game in the third inning with a single to right field and later Billeaudeaux plated his second run of the game with a bases loaded walk to make it 6-0 Pilots but then a hard line-out by Dorton ended the rally with the bases loaded.
The next two innings breezed by until the Bobcats scored a pair in the sixth to trim the LSUS lead to just four runs 6-4 but the Pilots got one run back in the bottom half of the inning as courtesy-runner Jacob Lopez replaced Dorton on the base path who led off the inning with a walk. The speedster, Lopez, stole second and then advanced to third base on a Gonsoulin groundout to the right side of the infield and then scored on a wild pitch.
The visitors picked up an unearned run in the top of the seventh for their final run of the game and then the Pilots added two in the bottom of the seventh for a 9-3 margin. Manny Estrada led off the inning with a walk followed by a single to left by Hobbins and then an bunt-single by pinch-hitter Kym Barthel loaded the bases. A fielder’s choice from Billeaudeaux brought in the first run of the inning while Dorton’s single to right drove in the second run for a 9-3 lead for the no. 1 seeded Pilots.
Jason Mouton retired the final batter of the eighth inning and then with two pitches in the top of the ninth he had two outs. Following a walk he got Jonathan Castillo to pop out to Hobbins to end the game and advance the Pilots in the winner’s bracket.
LSU Shreveport will face the second-seeded Lindsey Wilson (42-14) who escaped the third-seeded Bellevue Bruins 6-5 in Thursday’s second game of the day. Peru State will face elimination tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. against the winner of tomorrow’s first game matching the Grand View Vikings and the Bellevue Bruins at 10 a.m.