Pilots move into first place after a double header sweep of HTU
March 24, 2012
AUSTIN, Tex. - The no. 6 LSU Shreveport Pilots picked up a Saturday double sweep of the Huston-Tillotson Rams at Downs Field edging out the Rams 2-1 in the first game in route to a crushing 13-0 win in the second game of the day. The Pilots will enter the final game of the series with a rested but sun burned bullpen that did not see the mound today thanks to a pair of complete games from starters Jared Mortensen and Matt Lackie.
Jared Mortensen (7-0) dominated the Rams in the first game of the twin bill as he retired the first 10 batters of the game as Michael Mesa broke up his bid for the perfect game with one out in the fourth inning but Mortensen induced a double play ball to end the inning and keep his team with a 2-0 lead after four complete innings of play.
The Pilots took the lead in the second inning after David Dorton drove in the only two runs of the game for the visitors with a double to right center. Mortensen only allowed two more hits the rest of the day as the Rams made a game of it with an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh but the Pilot right-hander struck out the final batter of the game as he scattered three hits but did not allow an earned run. He fanned six batters in a walk-free performance.
Huston-Tillotson had a great outing from their starting pitcher Zak Enriquez (0-3) who tossed seven solid innings allowing only four hits and two earned runs to one of the top offenses in the NAIA. Enriquez walked only two batters while striking out nine.
Greg Friesen was the only hitter with multi-hits in the game going two for three as he started the rally that led to the game-winning hit by Dorton early in the contest.
The second game started off about the same as the first game with both starting pitchers retiring the side in the first inning but LSUS starter Matt Lackie continued his second as he retired the first six batters that he faced until Peter Castillo got the first hit of the game for HTU leading off the third inning. Lackie battled his way back and retired the next eight that he faced.
Lackie (6-0) tossed seven strong innings walking just one batter and striking out a season high 11 batters.
LSUS (25-3, 13-3 RRAC) started the scoring in the third inning as Ridge Gonsoulin had a RBI-double and Friesen a RBI on a groundout as the Pilots led 3-0 after two and a half.
The Pilots followed the three-run third with their best offensive inning of the day where they sent 11 men to the plate and scored six runs on four hits. Devin Greco brought in the first run of the inning with a sac-fly until Kade Billeaudeaux had a successful safety-squeeze bunt to score Jacob Lopez. Gonsoulin made some noise with a two-run double that led to the end of the day of the HTU starter Michael Bryant as he was replaced by Derick Sampel who was welcomed into the game by LSUS' Kyle Pearson who launched a 2-0 fastball over the centerfield wall for a two-run homer to extend the Pilot lead to 9-0 advantage after four innings.
The visitors insured the ten-run rule with three more runs in the top of the seventh inning with Tyler Alton, Caleb Killian, and Cody Causey all driving in runs.
The Pilots had a total of 11 hits but only had two with a multi-hit game. Gonsoulin was two for three with three runs batted in while Pearson was two for four with two RBIs.
HTU (3-17, 0-8 RRAC) had only three hits and did not have an inning where they had more than one base runner as all three that reached the base paths in the game were left stranded.
The two teams will complete the series tomorrow afternoon at Downs Field in Austin with a single nine-inning game beginning at 1 p.m. The Pilots will send right-hander Logan Norris (3-1, 5.19) to the mound to try for the series sweep.
LSUS is now in first place in the RRAC after their sweep of HTU and with the help of Northwood who swept the double header of UT-Brownsville.