LSUA earns sweep, as Manuel earns wins and save and hitters score 21 runs
HAWKINS, Texas (LSUA) — After scoring 39 runs in a doubleheader sweep on Sunday, the LSUA baseball team scored 21 more in another doubleheader sweep on the road against Jarvis Christian on Monday at the Bulldog Baseball Field.
LSUA (23-18 overall, 13-3 RRAC) won the opening game 5-4 before dominating from start to finish in game two, rolling to a 16-2 victory.
In the four games of the series, the Generals outscored the Bulldogs 60-11 en route to keeping pace with the other contenders for the Red River Athletic Conference crown, as Our Lady of the Lake is 16-4 in league action and LSU-Shreveport is 11-5.
In game one, the Generals had to hold on for dear life, as they took a 5-0 lead into the final inning before JCC scored four times and had a runner on second with two outs. But game two starter Austin Manuel came in for one batter to end the first game, striking out Zeke Holder to finish off the game.
LSUA scored 14 runs in the first three innings of the contest off JCC starter Alvaro Xavier Pena and never looked back. Adrian Gomez hit a home run in each game of the double header and drove in four a game-high four in the nightcap. The combination of Manuel and Brandon Noel surrendered just one earned run in the seven innings.
JCC (7-36, 4-16) has lost seven in a row and 14 of its last 15 since winning the first three of the series against Southwest in late March. Of those 15 games, they have allowed double digit runs in 10 of them.
It is a quick turnaround for LSUA, as it welcomes William Carey to Alexandria on Tuesday for a double header. First pitch for game one has been moved up to 2 p.m. The Generals finish the home conference portion of the schedule with double headers on Friday and Saturday against Texas A&M-Texarkana.
Game 1: LSUA 5, JCC 4
LSUA had to sweat out the first game of the day, but came through with the one-run win. The Generals seemingly had the game in hand with a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. Bryce Austin had been cruising, and he struck out the first batter of the inning. The next three batters reached before Austin struck out another batter. But back-to-back doubles cut the deficit to one with the tying runner in scoring position. Adams called upon Austin to get the final out, which he did, striking out Holder to finish the win.
“We knew it wouldn’t be easy,” LSUA Baseball Coach Steven Adams, Jr. said. “Slone and Bryce pitched well as freshmen. We made a couple of bad reads in the outfield and Jarvis made it close. Our offense had some big two-out hits for us. I was really proud of our guys this series.”
Following a big day on Sunday, the offense was held off the scoreboard for the first two innings of game one. Back-to-back hits by Kobe Baker and Jordan Ardoin put the first two runs on the board for LSUA. Both Baker and Ardoin recorded a game-high three hits. Ardoin collected two RBI.
The Generals added one in the fifth on an Ardoin double and two more in the sixth that turned out to be the difference. After Daigle singled, Gomez blasted a two-run home run over the left field fence to give the Generals a five-run advantage.
The offense backed up a strong start by freshman Sloan Greaves (3-1, 4.32 ERA), who threw 4.1 shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out two.
That set up the wild final inning, in which the Bulldogs sent eight batters to the plate, scored four times on four hits, but Manuel came through with the final out to seal the win.
JCC collected half of its eight hits in the final inning, but LSUA still out-hit the Bulldogs 10-8. In addition to Baker and Ardoin’s three hits each, Gomez was the other Generals batter with multiple hits, collecting two.
Jose Santana and Jalen Thomas each had two hits to pace the Bulldogs in that category.
Game 2: LSUA 16, JCC 2
The bats picked up again in the second game, as they scored at least 16 runs in three of the four games of the series. Three players drove in at least three runs, including Gomez’s four. The senior hit his second home run of the day and first of the game in the fifth inning, a two-run shot to put the finishing touches on a resounding win.
In the second game, Gomez went 2-for-5 with the home run and the game-high four RBI.
Like both of Sunday’s triumphs, there was one inning that stood out in which the Generals took control. While the visitors scored five in the second, they really broke it open in the third, pounding out seven runs to take a commanding 14-0 lead. And no, this wasn’t football.
In the second and third innings, the Generals combined for 12 runs on 12 hits and the game was essentially over. The big blast in the second inning was Louis Morgan’s three-run shot over the left field wall. It was the third home run on the year for the catcher and second in the four games against Jarvis Christian.
Manuel (4-0, 2.79 ERA), the starter for the second game, did his part, allowing just one earned run on six hits in five innings, to earn the victory. Brandon Noel came in to begin the sixth and threw two shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out three to earn the unconventional save.
“Austin just keeps throwing well,” Adams said. “We know exactly what we will get out of him every time. We capitalized on some mistakes Jarvis made and we kept the foot on the throttle. It was good to see Gomez swing like we know he can. We really executed our plan for the weekend.”
Baker finished off an outstanding day with a two-hit performance. Morgan and Alex Orenczuk both recorded two hits and three RBI. Zack Larson and Cameron Daigle each had three-hit performances to lead the Generals in that category.
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