SFA Shuts Out Southeastern
April 19, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks got 7.0 shutout innings from Chase Greening and shut out the Southeastern Louisiana Lions 4-0 in the series opener at Jaycees Field on Friday night, moving SFA into sole possession of first place in the Southland Conference.
It is SFA's (20-17, 9-4 SLC) eighth win in its last nine games and sets it up to take its first series from Southeastern (25-14, 8-5 SLC) since 1987 with a win in one of the final two games of the weekend.
Greening backed up his near no-hitter last week at McNeese State with a hard-fought night of shutout baseball, surrendering five of six Lion hits on the night and getting help from a pair of double plays. Still, he struck out three and walked just one, giving him 15.1 straight shutout innings in his last two outings.
Cory Maltz closed it out with two shutout innings of relief, while Andro Cutura took the loss for the Lions in just his second start of the year. The sophomore righty for the Lions fell to 0-2, allowing 10 hits and walking a pair with five strikeouts.
Hunter Dozier and Freddy Villalobos each finished with 2-for-4 nights, with Dozier's including a first-inning double that was his 200th career hit, and a leadoff home run in the seventh. He now joins former Lumberjacks Zach Gardner and Jarid Scarafiotti as the only three `Jacks to reach the 200-hit mark in their career.
Cutura worked out of jams in both the first and the second before SFA cracked the scoreboard in the third. SFA loaded the bases with no outs on a walk to Brett Thornell, a Dozier double and a hit by pitch of Villalobos; however, the `Jacks could only manage one run out of the situation on an RBI fielder's choice from Ricardo Sanchez.
Greening, meanwhile, worked around Lions on base in first four innings, converting a double play on his own in the fourth when he dove off the mound to snag a short popped-up bunt on the fly and then doubled off Ladd Rhodes at second after he head led off the inning with a double.
He got another run of support in the fifth on a two-out RBI single from Mackenzie Handel to score Villalobos to go up 2-0, then was coaxed another double play, this time from the combo of Thornell and Lamantia to get out of trouble in the sixth.
Dozier then added made it 3-0 with one swing of the bat, leading off the bottom of the seventh with a rocket home run down the left-field line, his 11th homer of the season. The `Jacks weren't done in the inning, chasing Cutura one batter later on a double from Villalobos and scoring him three batters later on a sacrifice fly from Handel.
That was enough for Maltz, who entered to start the eighth and worked around a leadoff walk before leaving a pair of runners stranded in the ninth to give the `Jacks the win.
SFA will go for its second straight win over the Lions on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. behind right-hander Kyle Cross. He'll face another righty for Southeastern, Tate Scioneaux.