NSU can't hold on to late lead, loses in extra innings

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COLLEGE STATION, TX -- The Northwestern State baseball team left Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park with plenty of positives Wednesday evening.

Unfortunately for the Demons, they weren’t able to leave with a victory.

No. 9 Texas A&M put together a two-out, 11th-inning rally, capped by Baine Schoenvogel’s walkoff RBI double to outlast the Demons, 7-6, in the finale of a two-game midweek series.

“That’s what our team showed you is we’ll fight you to the very end,” second-year head coach Bobby Barbier said. “They’ve got a really good team. They brought a guy in (Cason Sherrod), who threw the last four innings at 94-96 with a slider and a change-up. That guy’s going to pitch in the big leagues soon. I’m proud of our guys for fighting.”

The Demons (7-6) played the Aggies (13-1) to a one-run decision for the second time in the past three meetings dating to 2016, doing so with a fast start offensively.

Northwestern State pieced together a two-out rally in the first inning to produce a run and take an early lead. A three-run third inning, highlighted by RBI singles by Austin Townsend and Caleb Ricca, extended the Demons’ lead to 4-0 and backed a strong start by Cullen McDonald.

McDonald kept the Aggies scoreless through 3 1-3 innings before Logan Foster connected on a two-run home run that sliced the Demons’ lead to 5-2 after four innings.

Northwestern State answered with a run in the sixth inning as Luke Watson delivered a sacrifice fly before the Aggies took advantage of four wild pitches in the bottom of the inning to pull within 6-5.

The score stayed the same as Demons left-hander Reed Michel stranded the tying run at third base in both the sixth and seventh innings. Michel wasn’t able to dance completely out of trouble in the eighth.

Zack DeLoach’s RBI single tied the game but Kwan Adkins delivered a perfect throw home to cut down the go-ahead run.

The Demons had their best chance to scratch against Sherrod (0-1) in the ninth inning when J.P. Lagreco led off with a first-pitch double. After a wild pitch advanced Lagreco to third, the Demons called for a suicide squeeze that failed, leaving the game tied.

Lagreco had two of the Demons’ three hits off Sherrod, adding a two-out double in the 11th inning, finishing 4-for-5 with a hit by pitch to collect Northwestern State’s first four-hit game of the season.

“It’s good to get him going,” Barbier said. “He’s too good of a hitter to not get going before long. A lot of guys did good things today. Dave (Fry) and Kwan and Luke took some good swings today. There was a lot of good to take away from today.”

After Lagreco was stranded at second, the Demons turned to David Hodo (0-1), who retired the first two batters he faced before Will Frizzell and Cole Bedford singled. With runners on first and second, Schoenvogel lined his walkoff double to right field, sending the Aggies to their fourth straight win.

“We had a chance,” Barbier said. “We had a late lead, and they got the big hit. That’s what good teams do. Reed pitched his tail off. It was left on left, the situation we want. Sometimes a good hitter gets a hit. (I'm) very proud of the fight we showed tonight.”