Lumberjack Rally Falls Short
April 7, 2007
NACOGDOCHES - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks overcame a five-run deficit in Saturday's matinee against Northwestern State to tie the score at six runs apiece, but the Demons put up two runs in the bottom of the eighth to take an 8-6 lead. In the top of the ninth, SFA scored a run, but left a runner on third to take an 8-7 loss. The Lumberjacks overall record moves to 18-16 on the year and 6-6 in Southland Conference play. The Demons are 15-18 this season and have a 5-6 SLC record.
SFA was able to score the first run of the game in the top of the first inning. Zach Gardner led off with a base hit to left center and moved to second when Noel Trevino grounded out to second base. Gardner then advanced to third when Steven Hill flew out to right field. Chris Smith then sent Gardner home when he put a base hit up the middle for the RBI.
The Demons, however, answered with two runs of their own in their half of the first inning on a two-run home run hit by Mike Jaworski. NSU then put up four runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 6-1 lead.
David Jeans hit his first home run of the year to cut the lead to 6-2 and over the next four innings, the Lumberjacks began to chip away at the Demons' lead.
In the top of the sixth, Hill led off with his 12th home run of the year, a solo shot to left field, to put the Lumberjacks within three, 6-3. With two outs, Kevin Crabtree drew a walk and scored from first on a base hit from David Jeans and an error by the Demons' center fielder.
SFA put another run on the board in the seventh when Gardner scored from first on a triple from Hill to put the Lumberjacks within one at 6-5. In their next at-bat, the Lumberjacks tied the score at six. Crabtree put a base hit through the left side and advanced to second when Justin Roland drew the two-out walk. Kevin Croft then singled up the middle to score Crabtree from second to tie the score.
But in the bottom of the eighth, the Demons scored two runs to take an 8-6 lead. In SFA's final appearance at the plate, Hill was issued a walk to lead off. He advanced to third when Jared Pitts doubled to left center. Hill scored and Pitts advanced to third on a balk for the 8-7 score. With a runner on third, Crabtree struck out and Jeans grounded out to third base to bring the Lumberjack rally to a halt.
The Lumberjacks put up 12 hits, with Gardner, Hill, Pitts, Jeans, and Croft each taking two and Smith and Crabtree contributing one each. Gardner, Hill and Crabtree also scored two runs apiece with Jeans scoring one.
Lumberjack starter Jacob Leonhardt pitched only 3.2 innings, giving up six runs off six hits. He struck out two and walked one. Erik Gregersen pitched two innings of relief for SFA. He gave up one hit and struck out three. Heath Konesheck pitched 1.1 innings, and gave up a hit and a walk while striking out one. Russ Fornea pitched the eighth inning and gave up two runs off three hits. He suffered the loss as his record moves to 2-2 on the year.
The Lumberjacks return to Jaycees Field Tuesday at 3 p.m. when they take on the Houston Cougars.