Pilots Shoot Down Badgers in GCAC Tournament Opener
April 30, 2009
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The 2009 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) Baseball Tournament opened on Thursday with the LSUS Pilots downing the Spring Hill College Badgers by a score of 4-1 at Milton Wheeler Fielder.
LSUS struck first with a two-out, run-scoring single through the hole on the left side of the infield by centerfielder Brandon Bravata in the second inning off SHC starter Quinn Nichols. Pilot first baseman Brent Lavallee then belted a two-run homer to left in the third inning to build a 3-0 advantage for LSUS.
Sophomore leftfielder Chase Wentz would add an RBI with a bad-hop single past SHC shortstop Ryan Cummings in the fifth inning before the Badgers answered with a run in the top of the sixth off an RBI groundout to second base by Blake Nelson.
LSUS lefthander Justin Ennis (9-1) started the game for the Pilots and did not allow a Badger past first base until catcher Bill Saliski opened the sixth with a double to the corner in deep right field.
Spring Hill brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the eighth inning, but Ennis got himself out of the jam by striking out Brad Holstein with runners on second and third base.
Both Ennis and Nichols went the distance for their teams with Ennis coming out on top after allowing just five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Nichols allowed eight hits, but only issued two walks with nine strikeouts.
At the plate, the Pilots were led by Lavallee’s two hits and two RBI. Andrew Blubaugh also collected two hits for LSUS.
LSUS (40-12, 1-0) moves on to play in the winner of the University of Mobile and Belhaven College on Friday night, while Spring Hill (26-27, 0-1) will next play Friday at noon in an elimination game.