Lions Take Series Finale
May 10, 2009
HAMMOND, La. - The Lumberjacks raced out to a quick 4-0 lead going to the bottom of the third inning, but Southeastern Louisiana answered with a six-run frame and added six more runs late in defeating SFA, 12-5, to take the series finale.
Ryan Collins was the difference for the Lions (34-18, 20-10 SLC), as the senior reliever held down the Lumberjacks to the tune of one run in 5.1 innings with a career-best eight strikeouts to move to 5-2 on the year.
That was in relief of Brian McCants, who left in the third after neither team's starter was able to make it out of the third frame. Brett Rogers threw two scoreless frames for the `Jacks (22-27, 13-16 SLC) before the Lions exploded for six runs on six hits in the third to take a 6-4 lead and never looked back. Rogers fell to 2-4 on the season, taking his second consecutive loss.
The `Jacks got off to the start that they wanted, scoring early for the third consecutive game against Southeastern pitching. Jarid Scarafiotti opened it up by launching his third home run of the series in the third inning, a two-run shot off of McCants, that gave SFA an early 2-0 lead.
One inning later SFA was back at it again, with Ryan Priest delivering an RBI single that gave the `Jacks a three-run cushion. McCants then loaded the bases with a walk of Bo Coffman with two outs and Justin Long drove in the fourth Lumberjack run by drawing a bases-loaded walk. That was when Jay Artigues went and got Collins from the bullpen, and the senior delivered on Senior Day by getting Scarafiotti to ground into a fielder's choice to end the frame and then cruised for the next five innings.
He got in line for the win just one inning later when the Lions offense peppered Rogers for six runs in the bottom of the third. Three straight singles from Justin Boudreaux, Cass Hargis and Ty Summerlin got a run in for the Lions and Brandon Street then drew a walk to load the bases just one batter later. After Josh Cryer harmlessly flied out, McCants took a 3-1 pitch back up the middle for a two-run single that drew Southeastern to within a run at 4-3. Phillip Freeman then began his 3-for-5 afternoon with a single that Sean Meyers could not quite handle at first base that scored two runs when McCants alertly kept going from second base. Joe Sparacino then put the Lions up 6-4 with one of only two extra-base hits for Southeastern on the day, a double into the right-center field gap that made it 6-4.
Jason West then entered in relief and put together his best outing of the season, going 3.0 innings and allowing just one unearned run with two strikeouts and no walks to keep the `Jacks within striking distance. At one point he sat down seven straight Lions.
SFA got back to within a run in the fifth, scoring their only run of the afternoon off of Collins. Meyers got it started with a double down the right-field line and moved to third on a wild pitch before Priest picked up his second RBI of the day with a ground ball to second base, getting SFA back to within a run at 6-5.
But Summerlin delivered his second RBI single of the day in the sixth to get the run back, and the Lions added five more runs off of three Lumberjack pitchers in the next two innings to put the game out of reach.
Meyers finished 2-for-3 on the day to increase his season average to .418, while Tanner Hines managed a leadoff single in the ninth to extend his hit streak to a team-best 15 games.
The `Jacks conclude non-conference play on Tuesday when they travel to Baylor before closing out SLC play with a three-game series at home against Lamar. SFA has already qualified for its second ever SLC Tournament that is scheduled to be played May 20-23 in Corpus Christi.