Pilots sweep double header to claim RRAC title
April 22, 2012
SHREVEPORT, La. - The no. 1 LSU Shreveport Pilots clinched the regular season Red River Athletic Conference title with a double header sweep of the Texas Wesleyan Rams on Saturday afternoon at Pilot Field by final scores of 5-2 in the first game and 5-0 in the night cap. Jared Mortensen and Matt Lackie controlled the Rams as both pitched a complete game on Championship Saturday for the Pilots.
GAME 1, W 5-2
Jared Mortensen paced the Pilots in the first game of the twin bill as the Rams scattered eight hits as the right hander allowed just two runs on two walks and struck out nine on the way to his fifth straight complete game.
The Rams stranded a total seven runners in the game as Mortensen retired the side just once when he struck out three in the sixth.
The LSUS' offense went to work with a two-run double from Kyle Pearson in the third inning and then added two more on sac flies from Ridge Gonsoulin and Greg Friesen to take a 4-0 lead after three innings. David Dorton was successful on a safety-squeeze in the bottom of the fourth inning for the Pilots final run of the game.
Texas Wesleyan had plenty of chances to take the momentum away from the Pilots early on as an attempted sacrifice bunt turned into a single for Taylor Jockers, the Rams had runners at first and second with no outs in a scoreless game.
Joel Horton's attempt at a sac bunt was lined back to Mortensen who made the catch and then fired to second to double off the runner for the second out. Mortensen carried the momentum to the next hitter striking him out to keep it a scoreless game which led to the four run LSUS rally in the bottom of the fourth.
Pearson was the only batter in the game for either team to register multi-hits going 2-for-3 with two runs batted in.
GAME 2, W 5-0
Matt Lackie retired the side in order in the first inning and the LSUS' offense wasted no time taking advantage with three runs to take an early lead 3-0 after one. Kade Billeaudeaux and Ridge Gonsoulin both single and then Pearson delivered another two-run double and then he scored on a sac fly from Devin Greco.
Lackie along with Texas Wesleyan started Nolan Barbee paced the hitters giving up a few hit but not allowing too much damage. The Rams got just seven hits off Lackie while the Pilots scattered six hits on Barbee following the first inning.
Lackie (9-0) walked only one batter while striking out seven as his record remains unbeaten on the season while Barbee (7-2) allowed a total of nine hits, three earned runs, two walks, and two strikeouts.
The Pilots got to the bullpen in the eighth inning as reliever Jacob Lyons quickly retired the first two hitters of the inning and then the Pilots went to work. Four batters in a row reached base as Manny Estrada started the rally with his first hit of the day and later Stephen Hobbins and Reed Lavallee both delivered RBI singles to add two more insurance runs for the Pilots for a 5-0 lead after eight complete innings of play.
Lackie fanned two of the three hitters he faced in the top of the ninth inning.
The Pilots had three hitters with a multi-hit effort tonight with Gonsoulin leading the way a perfect 4-for-4 while Pearson was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Hobbins was 2-for-4 with a run batted in.
The two teams will meet tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Pilot Field for the series finale. LSUS will send right hander Logan Norris (5-1, 4.08) to the mound while the Rams will counter with left hander Dillon Wilson (6-1, 2.40).