Six run 3rd inning propels Pilots to 7-5 win over Rams
May 04, 2007
Mobile, AL---Quenton Shamsabady belted a one out double in the top of the 3rd inning which sparked a six run LSUS Pilots (38-13) rally against the University of Mobile Rams. UM cut the lead to 7-5 after scoring three in the 7th inning, and escaped a 9th inning jam via a triple play. Reliever Kevin Jewell however tossed a scoreless bottom of the 9th as the Pilots held on for a 7-5 victory, and remain as the only undefeated team in the Gulf Coast Athletic Coneference Tournament.
Jesse Luker (6-7) took the mound for the Rams Thursday night looking to repeat his two hit performance against the Pilots in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular season finale in which his Rams handed the Pilots a 7-1 defeat. Luker coasted through the first two innings, but a Shamsabady double with one out in the 3rd inning proved to be the spark the Pilots offense needed.
LSUS used three hits, three walks, and three stolen bases en route to a six run outburst.
“I think we used every tool we have in our offensive tool box in that 3rd inning. I was very proud to see us execute everything we have worked so hard on all year,” commented Pilots Head Coach Rocke Musgraves.
The Pilots had a chance to put the game out of reach in the 4th but squandered a bases loaded opportunity with a costly base running mistake. The Rams carried their defensive momentum to the plate and scored two runs which were highlighted by a two RBI single by Kyle McPherson to cut the lead to 6-2.
Rams reliever Johan Sanchez held the Pilots offense at bay until the 7th when Brent Lavallee belted his second double of the game down the left field line. Bryan Cooksey followed with a bunt single which had runners at the corners with no out. Sanchez however responded with back-to-back strikeouts, but a bunt single from Shamsabady down the third base line plated the Pilots 7th run of the night.
The relentless Rams however capitalized on three Pilot errors in the bottom of the frame to score three runs and cut the lead to 7-5.
“That is not characteristic of this ball club. We took an inning off mentally and it cost us. Fortunately, Kevin Jewell came in and got us out of the inning. The way Kevin competes on the mound gives our guys a big lift upstairs and they play with a lot of confidence when he is on the mound,” concluded Musgraves.
After a scoreless 8th inning, the Pilots took their 7-5 lead into the 9th and threatened to add an insurance run after the first two hitters reached safely. A sacrifice bunt attempt from Shamsabady was popped in the air to Rams catcher Ryan Liebe. Liebe caught the ball for the first out, and then delivered a strike to second baseman Jared Baria. Baria then fired a throw to first baseman Zack Mann to catch the Pilots base runners and cap a triple play.
With all the excitement and energy in the air from the triple play, everyone in the ball park could sense a Rams comeback. Liebe led off the inning with a shallow fly to right field which was caught by Colin Moro who made an excellent sliding effort to take away a leadoff hit. After a fly out by John Wood, Jared Baria singled to center to keep the inning alive. Jewell however enticed a ground out to third from Brett Barber for the third out and the Pilots hung on for a 7-5 victory.
Pilots All-GCAC starting pitcher Daniel Welch (8-1) earned the victory after allowing two runs on four hits while striking out eight in 6.0 innings of work. Shamsabady, Stebbings, Lavallee, and Chris Frye each collected two hits to lead the Pilots offensively.
With the victory the Pilots are the only undefeated team in the GCAC Tournament. They will advance in the winner’s bracket where they will wait until 7:00pm to play the winner of the Spring Hill College against UM contest which is scheduled for 12:00pm Friday.