Home Runs Propel SFA Past Lions
May 8, 2009
The `Jacks (22-25, 13-14 SLC) have now won six of their last seven Southland Conference games. Also, with UTSA's win over McNeese State and Texas State's win over Nicholls State on Friday, the 'Jacks can clinch a spot in the Southland Conference Tournament with a win on Saturday.
The win snaps a nine-game win streak for the Lions (32-18, 18-10 SLC), who has already qualified for the upcoming SLC Tournament and is now battling for seeding. Southeastern entered the night in sole possession of second place in the league.
SFA never trailed on Friday with starter Erich Lehmann going 6.0 innings to take his sixth consecutive win and move to 7-3 for the year. He struck out five, only walking one batter. But he was not quite as sharp as in recent outings, as is evident by his two hit batters after having only hit two batters on the entire season entering Friday's contest. Lehmann allowed three of the four Southeastern runs, but all were unearned.
He outdueled Lion ace Ryan Boudreaux, who only allowed seven hits on the night, but five of them went for extra bases including all four of SFA's home runs. Boudreaux fell to 6-3 on the season.
Richard Folmer pitched a perfect ninth inning, including two strikeouts, to secure his 12th save of the year and take sole possession of first place in that category this year in the SLC. He is 12 for 12 in save opportunities this year.
The `Jacks gave Lehmann an early lead in the first with Tanner Hines getting it started with a one-out double off the left field wall that extended his hit streak to a team-best 13 games. Sean Meyers moved him to third with a single and Brian Ferguson brought him home with a ground out to first base. One batter later, Ryan Priest took the first pitch from Boudreaux over the left field wall for his second home run of the year and an early 3-0 lead.
But the Lions struck back in the bottom of the inning with a pair of unearned runs off of Lehmann. Ty Summerlin reached on a one-out error by Hines and after a walk to Brandon Street, scored from second on a double from Josh Cryer that took a big hop over Luke Baker's glove at third base. The next bater, Brian McCants, then made it 3-2 with an RBI ground out.
Priest added his second home run with two outs in the third and Jarid Scarafiotti got in on the action just one inning later, tagging Boudreaux for his third home run of the season and giving SFA a 5-2 lead in the fourth.
All the while, Lehmann kept the Lions off the scoreboard for four straight innings until the bottom of the sixth. Southeastern took advantage of the third Lumberjack error of the night when Priest muffed a single by McCants and allowed him to go to second, setting up Joe Sparacino's RBI-single one batter later, cutting the lead to 5-3.
Lehmann made it through the sixth before handing the ball off to Chris Court to start the seventh. He issued a four-pitch walk to Justin Boudreaux to open the inning, and two batters later the Lions cut the lead to 6-4 when Summerlin launched a triple off the left-center field wall that scored Boudreaux all the way from first. But Court then kept the damage at a minimum by striking out No. 3 and No. 4 hitters in the Lion lineup - Brandon Street and Josh Cryer - to maintain the `Jacks' breathing room.
SFA threatened again in the top of the eighth when Meyers delivered a leadoff double, and put runners on the corners when Ferguson reached on a throwing error from Cryer when he tried to sacrifice bunt. However, the `Jacks could not get the run in as Ryan Collins left the runner on third with strikeouts of Priest and Adam Bosley, then got Scarafiotti to hit into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded just one batter later.
Fortunately, that run was not needed as Court and Folmer did not allow another Lion to reach base in either the eighth or the ninth innings.
SFA and Southeastern play the second game of the series on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at Alumni Field. Jared West is scheduled to get the start for SFA with Brandon Efferson slated for the Lions.