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Pitching, timely hitting leads Generals to double header sweep

Timely late-game hitting and strong showings by the bulk pitchers led the LSUA baseball team to...
Timely late-game hitting and strong showings by the bulk pitchers led the LSUA baseball team to a double header sweep against Arizona Christian on Monday evening at Canyon View High School.(Source: LSUA Sports Information)
Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 6:00 PM CST
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WADDELL, Az. (LSUA Sports Information) - Timely late-game hitting and strong showings by the bulk pitchers led the LSUA baseball team to a double header sweep against Arizona Christian on Monday evening at Canyon View High School.

Following the Firestorm scoring three runs in the first inning of game one, Generals pitchers Seth TrahanGage Colligan and Hunter Meche combined to allow just three runs over the next 15 innings to lead LSUA to the sweep.

Eight of LSUA’s 11 runs came after the sixth inning, scoring three runs each in their last turn at-bat before extra innings.

The Generals (3-3) rebounded from being outscored 26-8 by SAGU last time out to sweep a talented ACU squad that has scored the most runs in the nation.

“We didn’t quit,” LSUA Baseball Coach Steven Adams Jr. said. “With a new team that hasn’t played together much, we are still learning on the fly. We battled today. Our pitchers threw well and kept us in it and our offense did what we needed late in the game.”

ACU (11-8) has now dropped four in a row, having lost a double header to Lewis-Clark State prior to these games.

The two teams meet for another double header Tuesday. It is the second of four such meetings between the two, as the squads also meet for a double header on Thursday and Friday.

Game 1: LSUA 6, ACU 5 (10)

The Firestorm began the game with a two-run shot Justen Burkey in the bottom of the first to take an early lead. Damien McElroy added an RBI double. All three runs were scored with two outs. That lead held up until the ninth inning.

ACU starting pitcher Brett Aker was rolling, retiring the first eight Generals batters before Bren Faulk drilled his first home run of the season to left field. Aker allowed just the one run in seven innings, striking out seven.

Faulk was just getting started, recording three hits and finishing just a triple shy of the cycle.

Seth Trahan had another great performance, throwing six shutout innings, striking out seven, and kept the Generals in the game.

Going into the ninth, LSUA trailed 3-2. It set the stage for a wild finish.

An Alex Orenczuk single through the right side led off the inning. He was bunted over and scored on a Ronnie McBride single through the left side to tie the score at 3-3.

Four batters later, the Generals had runners on second and third with two outs. Adrian Gomez lined a single to left center, scoring two runs to give LSUA a 5-3 lead.

Not to be outdone, ACU came right back, scoring two runs to even the score and send it into extras. The first two batters reached without putting a ball in play.

With the bases loaded and one out, Robby Campillo was hit by a pitch to score a run. Justin Ramirez tied it on a fielder’s choice when he hit a dribbler to the pitcher’s mound and the Generals were unable to record an out. But Jacob Norman struck out McElroy and Manny Villa to keep it tied and send it to extras.

Zack Larson began the 10th with a leadoff single and advanced to third on a pair of sac bunts. Faulk collected his third hit of the contest with an RBI double down over the head of Villa, the third baseman. Larson scored, which was the deciding run, as Norman allowed a harmless walk in the inning and LSUA earned the win.

Game 2: LSUA 5, ACU 3

The contest was much like the first game, where most of the scoring was late in the game. ACU scored first on a McElory sac fly, but the Generals shut the Firestorm down after that.

Cameron Daigle with an RBI double in the second quickly tied the game and Ardoin scored on a wild pitch in the fourth after leading off with a double.

With LSUA in front 2-1, the Generals made timely hits to break it open a bit. Ardoin hit an RBI single and came around on an Adrian Gomez RBI hit to make it 5-1. Gomez had one hit in each game, but it came at the most important time, as the leading returning run producer from last year drove in his first three of 2021.

Meanwhile, Meche was dealing. He threw four shutout innings, striking out two, both coming in the fifth inning to strand Miranda at second base after a leadoff error.

He ran into trouble in the seventh inning, as Miranda clobbered a two out, two-run double to right-center to cut the deficit to two. Both runners were unearned, as Kurtis Roberts had reached on an error. Kyler Carson came in to retire Burkey on a fly to left field to record to lock down his first career save and Meche’s first victory of the season.

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