Mackenzie Handel had two hits and three RBI in SFA's win over Nicholls on Saturday.
March 23, 2013
THIBODAUX, La. - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks drew a school-record 15 walks and rode a 10-run fifth inning to its first conference win of the season, a 16-8 decision over Nicholls on Saturday afternoon at Ray E. Didier Field.
The win snaps SFA's (10-12, 1-1 SLC) four-game losing streak and squares the weekend series with the Colonels (13-11, 1-1 SLC).
SFA drew 15 walks on the day, eclipsing the old record of 14 set in 2006. Nine of those walks came in the go-ahead fifth inning, an inning in which the `Jacks pushed across 10 runs but did so with just two base hits.
Hunter Dozier, Freddy Villalobos, Mackenzie Handel and Jordon Lenaburg all had a pair of hits apiece, while the `Jacks finished with 11 hits as a team. Kyle Cross moved to 3-2 on the year in picking up the win, but allowed 10 hits in just 5.1 innings, allowing five runs with five punch outs. Garrett Powell tossed the final three innings to earn his first save of the year, striking out two and not allowing a hit.
Dozier finished with four RBI on the afternoon, while Handel and Villalobos had three apiece.
Nicholls starter Kory Delange was saddled with the loss, allowing six runs on just four hits in 4.1 innings before giving way to four relievers.
The Colonels stakes themselves to a 5-0 lead with a big second inning, getting a sacrifice fly from Cody Dufrene before an RBI double from David Zorn. Matt Richard followed with a two-run triple, and he scored on an RBI ground out from Leo Vargas to make it 5-0.
SFA got one back in the top of the third on a Colonel error, but then exploded for 10 runs two innings later. The `Jacks drew nine walks and were aided by a balk and an error, scoring its 10 runs with the benefit of just two hits - a leadoff single from Zach Benson, and a two-run double from Villalobos - to take a commanding 11-5 lead.
Keith Cormier got two of those runs back with a base knock in the sixth, but SFA immediately answered in its next at-bat on an RBI single from Lenaburg and a double from Handel. One inning later Hunter Dozier put the icing on the Lumberjack win, roping a double down the left field line to score three more SFA tallies and push the Lumberjack lead to 16-8.
Powell did the lifting the rest of the way, retiring a pair on strikes in the ninth to close out his first save of the year.
The `Jacks will close out the series with Nicholls on Sunday in the rubber match set for 1:00 p..m. Sophomore Cameron Gann is set to get the start.