Pilots split double header with Southwest
March 02, 2012
HOBBS, N. M. - The no. 6 LSU Shreveport Pilots dropped their second game of the season with a 10-9 loss to the Southwest Mustangs while the Pilots took the first game 9-0 at J. O. Williams Field on Friday afternoon.
Matt Lackie (4-0) led the Pilots to victory in the first game earning his first complete game shutout tossing seven solid innings scattering six hits while walking only two in a seven-strikeout performance. Lackie toughest part of the day was in the fifth inning allowing two hits and a hit-by-pitch to load the bases. He induced a pop out to leave the runners stranded and controlled the rest of the game as he retired seven of the final eight batters that he faced.
The Pilots pounded 14 hits in the series opener as Ridge Gonsoulin's two-run single sparked a three-run third inning breaking the scoreless tie. Tyler Alton drove in a run with an infield single in the fourth extend the LSUS' lead to 4-0 until Greg Friesen's RBI-double in the fifth extended the lead to 5-0.
The big inning for the Pilot bats came in the top of the sixth as Alton's hit a laser beam over the left field wall and later Devin Greco joined the home run club with a three-run shot to extend the lead to 9-0.
Alton was one of two Pilots with three hits in the game going three for four with two runs batted in and two runs scored while Kyle Pearson was three for three with a RBI and two runs scored.
Manny Estrada was the only other Pilot with multi-hits as he finished the game two for four.
Ernie Torres (0-3) suffered the loss for the Mustangs as the Pilots tagged him with 13 hits and eight earned runs in five and two thirds.
The second game started off much like the first game with the Pilots in control and stayed that way for the most part until the final two innings. Devin Greco led off the second inning with a double and was brought home on Stephen Hobbins' single to right center to give the Pilots a 1-0 lead. Two pitches later Hobbins took off for second and Manny Estrada ripped a hit and run RBI-double to left center scoring Hobbins. Estrada later scored to make it a 3-0 lead for the Pilots.
Hobbins tripled in the fourth and was brought in again by Estrada, this time with a single to short stop to extend the Pilot lead to 4-0 after four which the score would remain until the four-run LSUS sixth.
Estrada drove in two more runs with a double off the left field wall as LSUS extended their lead to 8-0 after a few more runs came across in the sixth. Southwest scored their first run of the series in the bottom of the sixth with a RBI-double from Ysidoro Reyna.
After the seventh inning the winds shifted and picked up significantly. Now a steady 25-30 mph wind blew across the field from right to left as the Mustangs rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth. The first run scored on a RBI-double by Carlos Rodriguez and then the next two on an error by Gonsoulin in right field as the wind blew what at first looked to be a foul ball back into play as hit off the glove of the LSUS right fielder getting by him to allow the other two runs to score.
The Pilots added a single run in the ninth with a RBI-single from Greco to give the Pilots a 9-4 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Now the wind had shifted for the third time of the day and now blew out to straight away center.
Jacob Kight came in to try and finish the game. The lead-off batter Derrelle Owens hit a home run but the Pilots still led 9-5. The next batter reached on a Estrada error and then Reyna singled. Kight retired the next batter with a fly out to left but then walked the next to load the bases for Eric Alvarez to tie up the game with a grand slam to center that wouldn't have gone had the wind not been blowing.
Brandon Russell was then summoned from the pen to try to shut down the rally and struck out the first batter that he faced but then Coach Galvan inserted Micah Martinez to pinch hit and he ended the game with a solo walk-off homer to left center.
Did the wind win the game for Southwest? Maybe not but it certainly had an impact on the six-run ninth to win the game. Had the ninth inning came thirty minutes earlier those balls that left the yard just might have settled into one of the Pilot's outfielders' gloves.
Jared Mortensen was tagged with the no-decision after another quality outing. He tossed eight strong innings scattering eight hits. He allowed a total of four runs but only one was earned while he walked only two and struck out 10. Kight allowed five runs, four earned, in a third of an inning while Russell (1-1) suffered the loss in a third of an inning of work.
Clinton Graham (1-0) kept the Mustangs in the game allowing only one run and three hits in three and two-thirds innings of work while striking out four.
The third and final game of the series will be at 1 CDT on Saturday in a decisive game three.