The race is on: Pilots in tie for top spot in GCAC with sweep over Wolfpack
April 08, 2007
Shreveport, LA---After dropping a double-header to Belhaven College Blazers (31-11, 16-5) on March 17th, the LSUS Pilots (28-9, 16-5) have won 12 of their last 16 games and are riding a seven game Gulf Coast Athletic Conference winning streak which has placed them in a tie for top spot in the GCAC with BC.
Heading into this weekends action, the Pilots were a game and a half out of first place with three games in hand on the idle Blazers. The Pilots took game one of the three game GCAC series against the Loyola University Wolfpack (13-27, 5-16) 2-1 Friday night behind a complete game pitching performance from Matt Clayman (6-1), but found themselves in a hole in game two of the series Saturday afternoon trailing 3-0 heading into the bottom of the 4th.
A one out single to left field from designated hitter Bryan Stebbings sparked a three run Pilots rally. Bryan Cooksey delivered an RBI single to left which was followed by a fielders choice to short from Brent Lavallee scoring Frye from third base. Pinch hitter Scott Talley delivered a one out sacrifice fly to left field scoring Cooksey from third, tying the game at 3-3.
The Pilots suffered a scare in the top of the 5thn inning after seeing starting pitcher Kevin Jewell hesitate to throw a pitch due to an apparent arm injury. With one out in the 5th, LSUS called on Daniel Welch out of the bullpen to take over for Jewell.
Welch collected two quick outs to end the LU 5th, and then saw his teammates respond with two runs in the bottom half of the frame. Brandon Magierowski and Andrew Blubaugh belted back-to-back singles and took advantage of an errant throw from Wolfpack third baseman Josh Borges which allowed Magierowski to score from first while Blubaugh advanced to third. David McGhee dropped down a sacrifice bunt to score Blubaugh which stretched the Pilots lead to 5-3.
Magierowski struck again in the 6th with a two out RBI double to right field scoring Frye from second who led off the inning by being hit by a pitch. Pilots pinch runner Quenton Shamsabady advanced to third on Magierowski’s double, and safely stole home two pitches later. Blubaugh followed with an RBI single to right field which scored Magierowski and pushed the Pilots lead to 8-3.
Pinch hitter Bobby Alzvarez collected the Wolfpack’s first hit off Welch in the 7th with a one out single to left field. After stealing second base, Alvarez scored on a two out RBI single from Andy Rodriguez. Welch put the clamps on the Pilots 8-4 victory forcing Brian Mason to ground out to second base for the games final out.
Wolfpack’s starter Stephen Ratasky (5-4) suffered the loss after completing 6.0 innings of work. Ratasky allowed eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits and one walk while striking out one. LU’s Todd Hubbell finished 1-for-2 at the plate and scored two runs while right fielder Hardie Coleman finished 1-for-2 with two RBI to lead the Wolfpack offense.
Welch (6-0) collected the victory in relief after completing 2.2 innings, allowing just one run one two hits while collecting two strike outs. Magierowski finished 3-for-3 at the plate for the Pilots which included a double, two runs scored, and RBI and a stolen base. Blubaugh added a 2-for-3 performance and added a run scored and an RBI.
Juan Leon (8-1) escaped a bases loaded jam in the top of the 1st inning in which he surrendered two walks and a single to Mason before striking out Marc Jaynes to end the LU scoring threat.
In the bottom of the 1st, Wolfpack starting pitcher Miles Colley (1-2) surrendered a one out walk to Colin Moro who promptly stole second and third base, allowing a sacrifice fly to center from Stebbings to plate the games first run.
LU mounted a two out rally in the 2nd inning after Alvarez hit a single to center and advanced to second on a stolen base. Rodriguez singled to right scoring Alvarez to tie the score at 1-1. Leon issued a walk to Dozzier which was followed by a line drive single to right field by Mason. Moro put the end to the inning by throwing a perfect strike to the plate just in time to get Rodriguez trying to score from second on the play.
The Pilots answered in the bottom of the 2nd after Cooksey led off with a single and later scored on a two out RBI triple to right-center field from Magierowski giving the Pilots a 2-1 lead.
LSUS added two more runs in the 4th inning and one in the 5th stretching their lead to 5-1. A two out RBI single to left field from Lavallee in the 8th put the Pilots ahead 6-1, and Pilots reliever Paul Marlow tossed a scoreless 9th to complete the Pilots three game sweep over LU.
For the Wolfpack, Miles allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits and four walks in 5.0 innings of work. Mason led the LU offense with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate while Rodriguez finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
The LSUS offense received a much needed spark from Magierowski who finished 2-for-3 including an RBI triple and two stolen bases in game two. Cooksey finished 1-for-4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases, while Josh Todd finished 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Leon scattered eight hits and four walks while allowing just one run in 7.0 innings of work. Marlow held LU hitless in 2.0 innings of relief.
The Pilots will return to action Tuesday afternoon when they will play host to the Paul Quinn College Tigers in the form of a double-header. Game one is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm.