Pilots complete sweep over Crusaders
March 11, 2007
Hattiesburg, MS---The No. 11 ranked LSUS Pilots (15-3, 7-2) entered this weekend’s Gulf Coast Athletic Conference series against the William Carey College Crusaders (7-15, 3-9) riding the coattails of a six game road losing streak in Hattiesburg dating back to 2005. The Pilots ended that streak in a big way collecting their first GCAC series sweep with 5-3, 4-2, and 5-0 victories.
Friday night’s contest featured the Crusaders hard throwing right hander Derrick Thompson (1-2) matching up against Pilots ace left hander Kevin Jewell (2-2).
Pilots senior starting shortstop Brandon Magierowski led off the first inning with an infield single which rolled just out of the reach of a diving a diving Chris Williams at third base. Thompson collected back-to-back strike outs over Chris Frye and Scott Talley, but an errant pick off attempt by catcher Martin Roark found its way down the left field line allowing Magierowski to reach second base. Roark’s error proved costly as Steffan Primeaux delivered a two out single to left field to score Magierowski for the games first run. Thompson then fell victim to the long ball after Pilots right fielder Colin Moro belted a 1-2 offering over the wall in left for his second homerun of the season which gave the Pilots an early 3-0 lead.
The Crusaders answered with a solo run of their own in the bottom of the 1st after David Trisler delivered a leadoff double down the left field line, and scored one batter later after Lindsay Lang belted an RBI single up the middle cutting the Pilots lead to 3-1. Jewell retired the next three hitters in order including two strikeouts to end the WCC threat.
Thompson held the Pilots offense at bay over the next five innings allowing just two hits while striking out seven. A lead off walk in the top of the 7th to Bryan Stebbings however sparked a two run LSUS rally. Bryan Cooksey followed with a bunt single to third which was followed by a sacrifice bunt attempt by Ricky Sanders. Sanders pushed a hard bunt back to Thompson who fielded the ball cleanly but threw the ball wide of first base allowing pinch runner Quenton Shamsabody to score from second, and put runners on second and third with no outs.
Pilots Head Coach Rocke Musgraves selected Jeff Ledet off the bench to pinch hit in the RBI situation, and Ledet responded with an RBI sacrifice fly to right field. Pat Burch delivered a strike to home plate but Cooksey just beat the tag giving the Pilots a 5-1 lead.
Jewell allowed just one single from the 2nd through 6th innings while collecting six strikeouts, but a lead off double to Roark in the bottom of the 7th had the Crusaders offense threatening to attack. Jewell managed to strike out Elliot Burch for the first out, but Williams followed with an RBI singled scoring Roark from second to cut the lead to 5-2. After a Pat Barnes ground out, Pat Burch became the 10th strikeout victim of the night by Jewell which ended the inning.
The Crusaders threatened again in the 8th after Lewis Rolon led off with a single to left which was followed by a single to center by Trisler. Jewell managed to get Lang to fly out to right field for the first out, and looked as if he induced an inning ending double play from Steven Johnson, only to see the grounder bounce off Pilots second baseman Chase Jennings’ glove into shallow right field allowing Rolon to score, and placing runners on the corners with one out. The crafty lefty however responded by forcing a ground ball to short to Magierowki who teamed up with Jennings to role an inning ending double play.
The Pilots retired the Crusaders in order in the 9th and held on for a 5-2 series opening victory. Jewell went the distance for the third time this season scattering six hits, no walks, while collecting 10 strikeouts and lowering his ERA to 0.92 on the year.
Cooksey collected four of the Pilots seven hits on the night going 4-for-4 at the plate with four singles, while Moro finished 1-for-4 with what proved to be a game winning two run homerun in the 1st inning.
Thompson (1-2) also went the distance Friday night scattering seven hits and two walks while striking out 13 Pilots hitters. Trisler posted the lone multi-hit performance for WCC finishing 2-for-4 which included a double and a run scored.
The Crusaders sent Josh Troxclair to the mound in game two as WCC looked to even the series in a seven inning affair. Troxclair collected two quick outs in the first before issuing a walk to Stebbings who advanced to second on a wild pitch just two pitches later. Primeaux followed with a double down the left field line to score Stebbings as the Pilots jumped out to the early 1-0 lead.
The Pilots hard throwing right hander Matt Clayman (3-0) struck out the first two batters he faced in Trisler and Lang, and forced a fly out to right from Johnson to end the 1st.
The scored remained 1-0 into the bottom of the 3rd inning. The Crusaders loaded the bases with just one out and the heart of the order coming to the plate in Johnson and Roark. Clayman managed to strikeout Johnson for the second out and escaped the jam after Roark flew out to left field to end the inning.
Burch led off the bottom of the 4th inning with a single to left, but the Pilots defense stepped up big once again as Cooksey and Magierowski teamed up to role a double play on a Barnes bunt attempt. Burch followed with a double to deep left-center field, but Clayman struck out Jordan Rogers for the 3rd out.
LSUS took advantage of a two out error by Rogers in the 5th which allowed Frye to reach first, and Jennings to advance to second. Stebbings delivered a double to right-center field which scored Jennings and Frye to give the Pilots a 3-0 cushion.
WCC threatened to score yet again in their half of the 5th inning loading the bases with just one out. Clayman however stepped up to the challenge collecting back-to-back strikeouts over Roark and Burch to preserve the 3-0 lead.
Clayman allowed a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 6th to Barnes, and followed with by hitting Burch putting runners at 1st and 2nd with no out. It looked as if he was going to fight his way out of yet another jam after collecting two quick outs, but Trisler delivered a 0-2 fastball offering to deep left-center field scoring both runners and cutting the Pilots lead to 3-2.
Trisler’s triple marked the end for Clayman who allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out nine. Pilots reliever Mark Dainty preserved the Pilots 3-2 by striking out Lang to end the inning which left Trisler stranded at 3rd.
The Pilots responded with a run of their own in the top of the 7th after Frye drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third after a pair of stolen bases. Frye later scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Moro stretching the lead to 4-2.
In the bottom of the 7th, Johnson led off with an infield single bringing the tying run to the plate in Roark. Once again however the Pilots defense responded by turning a 6-4-3 double play, and ended the game after Magierowski collected a ground ball off the bat of Burch and tossed it on time to Primeaux at first for the last out.
Troxclair (2-3) suffered the loss after allowing four runs (two earned), on seven hits, four walks, while collecting eight strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work. Trisler and Lang led the WCC offense combining for four hits and two RBI.
Cooksey followed his 4-for-4 performance Friday night with a 2-for-3 effort, while Stebbings finished 1-for-2 with two RBI and a run scored.
For the third consecutive game the Pilots scored a single in the top of the 1st to take a 1-0 lead. Frye fisted a one out single to left and advanced to third on a single to right field by Stebbings. A ball in the dirt by Crusaders starter Matt Carter (1-2) was blocked by catcher Ray Fitzpatrick, but trickled just in front of the plate which allowed the speedy Frye who got a great jump from third base to score just ahead of the tag by Carter.
The Pilots struck again in the 3rd after Sanders and Jennings delivered back-to-back singles which sparked a two run rally. Sanders stole third and scored after Fitzpatrick sent a wild throw into center field which also allowed Jennings to reach second base. Magierowski belted a single to left field putting runners at the corners which spelled the end for Carter.
Lance Brewer came on in relief and the held the Pilots to just one run via an RBI ground out by Stebbings which scored Magierowski from third giving LSUS a 3-0 lead.
The 3-0 lead proved to be all the Pilots would need as Juan Leon (5-0) held the Crusaders scoreless through 7.0 innings of work before giving way to Daniel Welch who tossed a scoreless 8th and 9th innings preserving the Pilots 5-0 lead, and putting the cap on a three game series sweep.
Leon scattered nine hits and collected five strikeouts while lowering his ERA to a team low 0.89 on the year. Welch struck out four in his two perfect innings of work.
Magierowski and Moro each finished with two hits and a run scored to lead the Pilots offense.
The Pilots improved to 7-2 in conference action with the sweep and have climbed in to top spot in the GCAC; two games ahead of the 8-4 Belhaven College Blazers. The No. 11 ranked Pilots will return home to Pilots Field for their first home game in over a month Friday night when they play host to the BC Blazers. First pitch is slated for 6:30pm. Games two and three will commence Saturday afternoon beginning at 1:00pm.