March 28, 2010
THIBODAUX, La. - In what looked like it would be a runaway win for Stephen F. Austin, the Lumberjack offense had to keep scoring as SFA picked up a 17-10 win over Nicholls in the series finale at Ray E. Didier Field.
The win gives the `Jacks (15-7, 6-2 Southland) the series win over the Colonels (13-10, 4-5 Southland), but it was far from easy as the Colonels trimmed a 12-run SFA lead to just four runs at 14-10 before SFA was able to hang on.
The `Jacks were able to take advantage of 11 walks by Colonel pitchers and added 20 hits, and despite scoring 17 times could have scored more as they left 17 runners on base.
Bo Coffman and Ryan Priest led the offensive charge with four RBI apiece, with Priest finishing 4-for-5 on the afternoon. All but one SFA hitter picked up at least one hit, with eight `Jacks finishing with at least two.
Cory Ochs earned his first win of the season with 2.1 innings in relief of Brett Rogers, who just lasted 2.2 innings in the start. Tyler Minto was the first of eight Colonel pitchers to see the hill and took his first loss of the season, allowing five runs in just 2.2 innings.
After Adam Miley opened the scoring with a solo home run to lead off the second inning for Nicholls, the `Jacks got their bats going in the top half of the third. SFA did all its damage with two outs, starting with a triple by Darren Crabtree that was followed by an RBI single from Bobby Loveless. Bo Coffman then homered to right field one batter later to give SFA a 3-1 lead before Ryan Priest, Jordan Lewis and Riley Huble delivered hits of their own with Lewis' and Huble's driving in runs.
Nicholls added a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the third to trim the lead to 5-2, but SFA then responded with another five-run frame in its half of the fourth. Tanner Hines and Crabtree started it with back-to-back singles to start the inning, which was followed by an RBI double from Loveless. Two batters later Priest made them pay for an intentional walk to Coffman with a first-pitch single up the middle against a drawn-in infield for a pair of RBI. Coffman also scored on the play to make it 8-2 on a throwing error on Tristan Rogers.
Priest, Coffman and Crabtree each added to the SFA run total with RBIs in the sixth, with Priest's two-run single being the big blow of the inning that pushed SFA's lead to what looked like a comfortable 14-2 margin.
But the Colonels were just getting started offensively as they added four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, starting with an RBI triple by Keith Kulbeth. Chase Jaramillo added an RBI single as well and an SFA error let a pair of runs cross as well, cutting the lead to 14-6 after six full frames.
Nicholls then really made it interesting with three more runs in the bottom of the seventh on a bases-loaded walk by Bear Comer and then RBI hits from Kasey Culverson and Jaramillo. One inning later they got to within four runs at 14-10 on an RBI single from Comer, but that was as close as the Colonels would get after SFA went to Alex Moshier out of the bullpen. Moshier threw the final 1.1 innings in just his third appearance of the season in shutting the door on the Colonels.
The `Jacks did add three more runs in their half of the ninth on four hits, including a solo home run from Patrick Gratzke off of Josh Labiche. Crabtree and Coffman each added RBI hits as well in the frame, pushing the lead back to seven runs before Moshier tossed a scoreless ninth.
SFA will return home for it's next game, a 3:00 p.m. game against Prairie View A&M before hosting defending SLC champion Texas State in a three-game set beginning Thursday in Nacogdoches.