No. 1 Pilots sweep Centenary
April 24, 2012
SHREVEPORT, La. - The no. 1 LSU Shreveport Pilots added two more wins to their resume' on the 2012 campaign with a double header sweep of the Centenary Gents at Shehee Stadium on Tuesday by a final score of 15-11 in the first game and then coming from behind to take the night cap 10-7 in extras. The Pilots finished the 2012 regular season with 44 wins and only 4 losses while Centenary at 23-14 still has a few games left on their schedule. The Pilots open RRAC Tournament play on Saturday night at Pilot Field at 6:30 p.m. having won nine games in a row.
GAME 1, W 15-11
LSUS dominated the first five and a half innings of play with a 15-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning until Centenary rallied with three runs in the sixth and six more in the seventh only to be halted by LSUS' reliever Jake Kight as he retired the final two batters of the game to seal the deal for the NAIA's top club 15-11.
The Pilots scored early and often with six runs in the first and three more in the second inning for an early 9-0 lead. Greg Friesen drove in the first run of the game with a sac fly to score Cody Causey who led off the game with a single to left field. Ridge Gonsoulin was the second batter of the game and he singled on the second pitch he saw from the Centenary starter and he was driven in by a bases loaded walk by David Dorton on four straight pitches.
Stephen Hobbins singled home two more and then Brandon Cooksey followed with a two-run double to right center for the 6-0 lead after the top of the first inning. Friesen extended the LSUS' lead even further with a three-run homer over the center field wall to give the Pilots a comfortable 9-0 in the top of the second inning.
LSUS starter Drew Middleton did not give up a hit until the fourth inning when he surrendered back-to-back hits to Tyler Clakley (single) and then Kyle Morton blasted a two-run homer but that was all of the production they managed off Middleton as he remained a perfect 5-0 on the season earning the win.
Hobbins and Cooksey each drove in another run as a part of the LSUS' three-run fourth inning as they helped extend the lead to 12-2 after four innings of play. Dorton singled home a run in the fifth and then Tyler Alton picked up a RBI double off the bench and scored on Caleb Killian's single for a 15-2 LSUS' lead going into the bottom of the sixth.
The LSUS bullpen allowed nine runs to come across over the next two innings but it wasn't until Jake Kight came in with one out did the bullpen experience some much needed success as they had allowed Centenary to crawl their way back into the game as they posted six runs in the seventh but Kight struck out the final two batters to end the game.
LSUS had four batters with a multi-hit performance as Cooksey was 2-for-3 with three runs batted in as Hobbins drove in three as well going 2-for-4. Dorton finished the day 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of runs batted in.
Centenary's three (Clakley) and four-hole (Morton) hitters were a combined 6-for-7 with Morton driving in four runs.
GAME 2, W 10-7
The Pilots jumped out to another early lead but this time thanks to some Centenary miscues in the field as Causey walked to start the game and then scored on the throwing error by the pitcher who was trying to throw out Gonsoulin who had already reached first base safely on a bunt single. The error sent Gonsoulin to third and he later scored when the third baseman failed to catch a pop up off the bat of Friesen for a 2-0 LSUS' lead.
Centenary would battle back to tie the game at 2 in the first as Matt Creamer hit a leadoff solo-homer down the left field line and then Jeff Schaffert doubled home the tying run.
The Gents added three more in the second and one in the third for a 6-2 advantage after three innings of play. The Pilots tied the game at six with four runs in the top of the fourth inning as Estrada led off the inning with a single and then Hobbins doubled to put runners at second and third with no outs. Estrada scored on a wild pitch and then Causey walked to allow Gonsoulin to drive in a run with a sac fly and then Causey scored on Pearson's single to tie the game at six.
Lance Nugent came in the game for the Centenary and had an 0-2 count on Greco so the Pilots decided to start the runner at first early hoping that would allow enough time for Pearson to score so they could get a run in case Greco struck out but the plan backfired as the Gents played it perfectly throwing our Pearson at the plate to end the inning.
Greco came to the plate with a fresh count in the top of the fifth and hit the first pitch he saw from Nugent over the left center field wall to regain the lead for the Pilots 7-6. After retiring the next two batters Nugent allowed two singles before he struck out the final batter of the frame leaving two runners stranded for the Pilots.
Centenary left a total of 14 runners on base in the game including leaving the bases loaded in the fifth inning as Cam Ellis came in and forced a ground out to end the threat after walking the first batter that he faced. Ellis started the sixth but the first two singled and then a fielder's choice recorded the first out but the Pilots went to the pen one more time to call on Kight (3-0) who came in and with the help a swiftly defense to get out of the jam and leave two more aboard for the Gents and eventually earn him his third win of the season.
Nugent set down the Pilot in order in the top of the seventh so they needed only one run in the bottom of the seventh to win the game and it looked like that would happen as following a leadoff ground out. Creamer singled to right field and then Ryan Gasporra singled moving Creamer to third base as the winning run with only one out.
Kight fooled Clankly with an off-speed pitched as he dribbled it back to the mound. As Kight fielded the ball cleanly Creamer took off from third headed and home and the Pilots made the play to retire the runner for the second out with a 1-2-5 putout. The next batter Morton lined out to Hobbins to end the threat and send the game into extra innings with a 7-7 tie.
After a Billeaudeaux pop out, Causey worked his way back into the count after falling behind early 1-2 to a full count and eventually a walk. Gonsoulin marched to the plate and delivered the go-ahead double off the right field wall scoring Causey from first. The Pilots added two more in the inning thanks to RBI infield singles between the short stop and third baseman.
The Pilots made one final call to the bullpen for the bottom of the eighth inning for Jared Mortensen who earned his second save of the season retiring three of the five batters that he faced including striking out Craig Littleton to end it.
LSUS had a dozen hits in the game with Greco and Estrada finishing 2-for-5 while Reed Lavallee was 2-for-3. The Pilots did a much better job in minimizing the damage of Centenary's Clakley and Morton in the night cap as the two was a combined 1-for-8.
The next game for the Pilots will be on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. at Pilot Field against the sixth seeded Southwest Mustangs in the first round of the RRAC Tournament.