HOUSTON, Texas - Three Lumberjack pitchers combined to allow just three singles and no runs as the Lumberjacks shutout Texas Southern, 4-0, on Tuesday at Sylvester Turner Park for their seventh straight win.
Brett Higginbotham, Cory Ochs and Fabian Arcizo each tossed at least two innings apiece for the `Jacks (12-5, 3-0 SLC), striking out nine and working around four walks to keep the Tigers (6-11, 2-4 SWAC) off the board for SFA's third shutout in its last eight games. It was also the fourth straight game that SFA pitching has gone without allowing an extra-base hit.
SFA got a 2-for-3 day from leadoff man Bryson Myles, whose two-run triple in the fifth gave the SFA pitchers more than enough wiggle room to get the win. Chris Hernandez also added a double and RBI, while four other Lumberjacks picked up a hit apiece as well, all of which came within the first five innings.
Higginbotham tossed the first five innings of the day in his second career start, allowing just one hit with three strikeouts and four walks to earn his first win of the season. Ochs picked up a strikeout in two perfect innings of relief in front of Arcizo, who picked up five of his six outs in two innings of work via strikeout.
Tiger starter Kevin Schulba fell to 0-2 on the year after allowing all four SFA runs in his five innings on the mound.
SFA did all its scoring in just two innings, scratching the board first in the second inning with a pair of runs aided by a trio of Tiger errors. Jordan Lewis led it off with a line-shot single up the middle, and promptly moved to third on a steal of second and an errant throw from the TSU catcher. Two batters later Hernandez drove him home with a sac fly to right, and reached base himself when Anthony Dilligard dropped the fly ball. Two hitters later Bryce Cummings scored from third to make it 2-0 when Cameron Logan dropped a throw at first on a routine grounder from Myles.
The `Jacks didn't have another hit until the fifth inning, when Hernandez took a 3-1 pitch off the left-center field fence for a leadoff double. A bunt single from Michael Haynes quickly put runners on the corners, and one batter later Myles slugged his triple into the left-field corner to plate both runs. He was tagged out after oversliding the bag, but the damage was already done.
Higginbotham followed that with a shutdown fifth inning as part of a string of 12 straight Tigers that were set down by he and Ochs from the fourth through the seventh frame before a leadoff single to start the eighth off of Arcizo finally gave the Tigers a base runner.
Arcizo gave up one more single in the eighth, but struck out Terrell Jones looking before striking out the side in the ninth to seal the SFA win.
The `Jacks and Tigers will conclude their two-game midweek set on Wednesday in Nacogdoches when the Tigers come to Jaycees Field for a 3:00 p.m. first pitch. Sophomore righty Cody Priest is the scheduled starter for the Lumberjacks.