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LSUA’s 17 runs, Manuel’s strong performance lead LSUA to split

Ronnie McBride collected five hits in the double header, helping lead the LSUA baseball team to...
Ronnie McBride collected five hits in the double header, helping lead the LSUA baseball team to a split, winning 12-1 in game one, before dropping game two 6-5.(Source: LSUA Sports Information)
Published: Feb. 20, 2021 at 11:09 AM CST
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GLENDALE, Az. (LSUA Sports Information) - Ronnie McBride collected five hits in the double header, helping lead the LSUA baseball team to a split, winning 12-1 in game one, before dropping game two 6-5.

In the eight-game series, the teams each won four.

“We came to Arizona and were able to split the games against a good team,” LSUA Baseball Coach Steven Adams Jr. said. “This was a really big trip for us. A young team together on the road and playing eight games in five days is priceless for this team.

“We were close in three of the four games we lost. This team is starting to figure it out and that’s exciting. There were lots of positives this week for us.”

In game one, the Generals pounded 17 hits, with four players--Cameron DaigleRonnie McBrideLouis Morgan and Alex Orenczuk--all tallying three. Orenczuk hit his first two home runs of the season. Nine different players registered at least one hit and eight recorded at least one RBI.

The 17 hits are the most by the Generals since also generating 17 hits against Texas Wesleyan on Feb. 1, 2020, in a 13-3 win.

As good as the offense was, starting pitcher Austin Manuel was just as good. He allowed one run in the first inning, but he locked down the high-powered Firestorm offense after that, throwing seven shutout innings, striking out three.

It is the first time LSUA (5-7) scored at least 12 in back-to-back games since Feb. 11 and 15, 2019 when the Generals clobbered Midland 17-1 and Champion Christian 16-1.

In game two, ACU (15-10) was behind for much of the game, but scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to win 6-5. With a runner aboard in the inning, ACU senior Manny Villa blasted a home run over the left-center field wall to tie the score. D’Marcus Guillory reached on a fielder’s choice and came around to score what was the deciding run on a wild pitch.

Firestorm closer Anthony Defrancesco stranded the tying run, pinch runner Luke Benoit, at third base by striking out Adrian Gomez to finish the game.

LSUA takes a week long break before heading to New Orleans to face Loyola for a series beginning Feb. 26. The next home series for the Generals is March 16 against William Carey, which begins an eight-game home-stand.

Game 1: LSUA 12, ACU 1

An RBI double Robby Campillo started the scoring for the Firestorm. But despite ACU recording 12 hits as a team, Manuel kept them off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.

With two outs in the third inning, LSUA recorded two hits and benefited from two errors, as it scored two times to take the lead it would never surrender. Two-out hitting was a theme in the game, as 10 of the 12 runs the Generals scored were with two outs.

From the third through the eighth inning, LSUA scored in every inning but one. Brant Leslie hit an RBI single in the fourth, which was followed by a two-run double by Daigle, and Manuel had his breathing room.

Manuel ran into a bit of trouble in the fourth, as ACU had runners on first and second with one out, but Manuel retired the final two batters of the inning. Manuel was able to strand runners all day, as ACU left 10 on in the game.

Orenczuk hit his first of two home runs on the game in the sixth to make it 6-1 and the Generals put up a five spot in the seventh to blow the game open. The game was blown open on back-to-back doubles by Zack Larson and Louis Morgan to expand the advantage to 10-1. Orenczuk added another homer in the eighth to put an explanation point on game one.

Game 2: ACU 6, LSUA 5

In six of the eight games of the series, the team that scored first did not win the game, and that is what happened in this one.

LSUA jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a McBride double down the left field line. ACU answered in the third on an infield single by Brent Smith, which proceeded a Guillory one-out triple.

That was the only hiccup in an otherwise flawless performance by starting pitcher Jacob Jensen. The junior from LaPlace, La., just allowed the one run on three hits, striking out four.

LSUA re-captured the lead on a two-run double by Faulk, which was followed by a Zack Larson sacrifice fly and Julian Meza RBI bunt single. The run Meza drove in was the first in his collegiate career.

Faulk had two hits, along with McBride, and drove in a team-high two runs.

A Justin Ramirez two-run single cut the Generals lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning, which set up the dramatic sixth.

Trahan allowed three of the first four batters to reach, including Villa’s home run. Jacob Norman came in and walked Smith and hit Kurtis Roberts, which loaded the bases with two outs. McElroy scored on a wild pitch and Defrancesco held on for the win, striking out the side in the seventh.

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