College Baseball: NSU tops Mcneese - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

College Baseball: NSU tops Mcneese

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LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KALB News Channel 5) A run in the fifth inning and three-run home run from Nathan Lyons in eighth inning gave Austin Tanner a cushion to finish off his complete game shutout to give the Northwestern State baseball team the series win after they defeated McNeese State 4-0 Sunday afternoon in Southland Conference action.

It was the fifth straight league series win for Northwestern State (21-14, 10-5 SLC) in as many sets, and it put the Demons in a three-way tie for first place with the Cowboys (20-14, 10-5) and Nicholls State. NSU won the series played against both teams.

Tanner, a soft-throwing left-hander, finished the game with eight hits and allowed only one walk. He struck out four batters. He was the second freshman to shutout the Cowboys this weekend after Adam Oller did it Friday.

"I told Coach (Chris) Curry that (Tanner) hasn't been extended this long before. We need to get some guys moving," said head coach Lane Burroughs who is in his second year at the helm.

Tanner had not worked past the fifth inning this season, and his highest pitch count was 79. He finished Sunday with 115 pitches.

"Little did we know," he said. "It was his ball game. Once we hit the three-run homer, he came to me and told me 'I want the game.'"

The freshman never faced more than four batters in an inning in the game, and faced three batters twice. Three Cowboys made it to second base, and only one of those advanced to third.

"He showed a lot of character and a lot of guts to shut down one of the best offensive clubs in the league," said Burroughs.

He made a fabulous defensive play in the seventh inning after he gave up a single to left field and chopped the runner down at second base when he backed up the second baseman who was overthrown.

Lyons pushed the score to 4-0 in the eighth inning when he homered to left field and scored Caleb Dugas and Chase Daughdrill. Dugas reached first on an error by the MSU third baseman and advanced to second when Cort Brinson put down a sacrifice bunt.

Daughdrill was intentionally walked with the open bag at first.

"We needed that run, and that is why we elected to bunt Cort," said Burroughs. "He's a mature enough batter and wanted to move him over.

"I was actually talking to (Lyons) about a hit-and-run, but I never did put it on," he said. "He got a cutter that backed up on the guy, and didn't try to too much."

The first run of the game was scored by Joel Atkinson on a single up the middle from Edwin Gomez in the fifth inning. Atkinson reached on a double that rolled to the left field wall.

NSU had at least one runner on base in every inning but the seventh and ninth, and left runners on base in each of those except for the eighth.

Lyons was 2-of-4 on the day, and Gomez, Underwood, Daughdrill, Kaufman and Atkinson all added one hit apiece. McNeese outhit the Demons 8-7.

Reed Gordy and Jackson Gooch were both 2-of-4 for the game, and Andrew Guillotte was 2-of-3.

The Cowboys worked through two pitchers. The starter was Bryce Kingsley (3-3) who took the loss with only one run allowed. He gave up six hits and one walk. Steven O'Bryant finished the contest with only the three-run home run allowed.

The fifth straight conference series win is the first since the 2005 Southland Conference Championship season. The 10 wins in league play doubled the amount the Demons won in the entirety of last season, and NSU is halfway through its conference schedule.

NSU will host a midweek game on Tuesday and open another league series on Thursday. Louisiana-Monroe will be at Brown-Stroud at 6:30 on Tuesday, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi will be there on Thursday at 6:30.

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