SFA Takes Series From Southeastern
April 21, 2013
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks put together a pair of four-run innings and knocked off Southeastern Louisiana, 8-3 in the series finale on Sunday at Jaycees Field, moving back into sole possession of first place in the Southland Conference.
It is the first series win for SFA (21-18,10-5 SLC) over the Lions (26-15, 9-6 SLC) since 1987 and gives the `Jacks seven wins in their last nine conference games.
Rene' Moreda and Ricardo Sanchez each had three hits apiece for SFA in a game where the `Jacks had 13 hits and put the leadoff runner on in six of eight frames. Every Lumberjack in the lineup reached base at least once, with seven getting at least one hit.
SFA got four runs in the third and pushed across four more in the fifth, making a winner of reliever Cass Ingvardsen, who allowed one run on three hits in 2.0 innings of relief to move to 2-1 on the year. He entered in the fifth after starter Justin Choate was lifted due to an injury after he had struck out three and allowed two runs on four hits in 4.1 innings.
Brett Higginbotham continued his late-inning dominance as well, firing the final 2.2 innings with a pair of strikeouts and allowing just one hit. He has struck out 18 hitters and walked none in 16.0 innings of work in conference play this year.
Southeastern starter Kaleb Manuel took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits in just 2.1 innings. He started off well, fanning four hitters in the first two frames, but was removed after getting one out in the go-ahead third inning. His record fell to 2-3.
The Lions manufactured the game's first run in the top of the second, getting Harry Slade on base to start the inning and scoring him on a ground out from Ladd Rhodes which followed a single from Ben Hernnadez.
Manuel worked around a leadoff single in the bottom of the second, but was not so fortunate in the bottom of the third. A walk to Joseph Olson and a bunt single from Jackson Hood quickly put the `Jacks in business. Two batters later SFA loaded the sacks on a walk to Brett Thornell and then tied the game on a wild pitch with Hunter Dozier at the plate. Back-to-back doubles from Dozier and Freddy Villalobos followed and the `Jacks closed out the inning with a 4-1 advantage.
The Lions got a run back in the fifth on an error, but the `Jacks immediately answered with four more scores in the bottom of the inning. Olson delivered his second hit of the day, an RBI single up the middle to score Sanchez and get the run back. Hood and Moreda followed with run-scoring hits of their own, Hood's a single to right-center and Moreda's a double that carried over the center fielder's head. Thornell then got in the act with a sacrifice fly, giving SFA a commanding 8-2 edge after five innings.
Southeastern plated one more in the sixth on an RBi single from Hernandez, but Ingvardsen minimized the damage before handing things off to Higginbotham with one out in the seventh. The senior reliever got a double-play ball just four pitches into his first outing of the weekend and then proceeded to pitch a pair of clean frames in the eighth and ninth in a non-save opportunity.
SFA will host Texas Southern on Tuesday before traveling to Houston to play the Tigers on their home turf on Wednesday. The `Jacks will then go to Beaumont to take on red-hot Lamar in a three-game set at Vincent-Beck Stadium.