Kyle Cross earned the save for SFA, allowing just one hit over 2.1 innings
March 22, 2014
NATCHITOCHES, La. – Stephen F. Austin raced out to another fast start against rival Northwestern State, and this time the Lumberjacks were able to hold on, defeating the Demons 7-5 at Brown-Stroud Field. SFA improves to 10-11 on the year and 2-3 in Southland Conference play.
Mackenzie Handel had another solid outing for the ‘Jacks, going 3-for-4 with four RBI on the afternoon. Ricardo Sanchez and Zach Marberry both went 2-for-4 for SFA, with an RBI for Marberry, while Rick Cruz scored three runs on the day for the ‘Jacks.
Jarred Greene picked up the win for SFA with Kyle Cross recording the save after the duo held the Demons to just two hits and no runs over the final 4.2 innings. Starter Dillon Mangham allowed five runs on 12 hits through 4.1 innings of work with four strikeouts.
After seeing an early lead fall away in a 13-inning loss the night before, SFA once again set the tone early, taking a 5-1 lead after the first three innings. Handel notched a sacrifice fly for an RBI in the first, followed by a two-RBI single in the second, complemented by a Will Vest score on a wild pitch. Marberry then ripped a double in the third to score Sanchez, giving the ‘Jacks the early four-run lead.
Northwestern State answered with two runs in the bottom of the third, trimming the SFA lead to 5-3. The ‘Jacks opened up a three-run lead in the fifth, as Brett Thornell tallied a sacrifice fly to score Sanchez from third.
The Demons staged a rally in the bottom of the fifth, adding a pair of runs to pull to within one at 6-5, but Handel then notched his fourth RBI of the day off a single to center which scored Cruz, giving the ‘Jacks the 7-5 lead. The SFA bullpen did its job, shutting down NSU to help preserve the victory for the ‘Jacks.
The final game of the three-game series is set for 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon as the ‘Jacks go for their first SLC series victory of the season.