ALEXANDRIA, La (LSUA) - The LSUA baseball team got solid starts from pitchers Josh Gray and Gavin Sonnier and found enough timely offense to take a pair of victories against the Midland Warriors, 4-1 and 5-2, Sunday afternoon at Generals Field.
Gray ran into a little trouble in the top of the first inning as the Warriors got back-to-back singles with two outs to put runners on first and second, but Gray got out of it as he induced a weak ground ball to end the inning with no runs on the board.
The General got all the runs they would need in the bottom of the second inning as Adam Cook drew a walk with one out, and then on the very next pitch, Zack Larson sent the ball on a screaming liner over the left field wall for his second home run of the season and a 2-0 LSUA lead.
After a scoreless third inning, LSUA added some key insurance in the fourth inning. With runners on the corners, Eric Thomas took off for second base, inducing a throw from the catcher that bounced away into the outfield. Seth Patin scored from third thanks to the error while Thomas took the opportunity to move up another 90 feet and replace Patin on third. That would be vital because, two pitches later, the Warrior pitcher was called for a balk, allowing Thomas to score and make it 4-0 Generals.
Meanwhile, Gray had settled well in by then, retiring 11 straight Midland batters following a lead-off single to start the third inning. But he would make just one mistake, giving up a lead-off home run to start the seventh, and final, inning of play. But he was unfazed and finished off the win by getting the next Warrior batters to ground out, pop out, and ground out to secure the LSUA win.
Josh Gray (1-0) went all seven innings and gave up just four hits and the one run on the home run, which was earned. He also struck out four and didn’t walk any batters for the complete game victory.
The scoring in game two had similar origins as to the first runs of game one. Adam Cook drew a one out walk, but instead of a Larson home run, it was Adrian Gomez who did the work as he found the right-center gap for a double that allowed Cook to come all the way home for a 1-0 LSUA lead.
With Gavin Sonnier in charge of the Warrior hitters from the mound, the Generals seemed to blow open the game in the third inning. With runners on second and third and one out, Logan Constantine grounded a ball towards the shortstop, who decided to come home with the ball. However, he couldn’t pick off the speedy Ronnie McBride, who slid in to home plate safely for a 2-0 LSUA lead. Following an intentional walk to reload the bases, Adam Cook drew another walk to force in Kris Tamplet. Adrian Gomez then singled through the left side of the infield that brought in both Constantine and Zack Larson for a 5-0 LSUA lead.
After a run came in for the Warriors in the sixth on a RBI single, things got a little dicey for the Generals in the seventh as two walks and a single loaded the bases with one out, bringing the tying run to the plate. A wild pitch allowed a run to cross, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the threat and preserved the Generals win.
Gavin Sonnier (1-1) went six innings and gave up four hits and one run, which was earned, struck out seven and walked two for the win. Kale Parks didn’t have the best outing in relief, giving up a run, an earned run, and two walks in a third of an inning of work. Sam Poliquin came on with the bases loaded and closed things out with the back-to-back strikeouts to close the door for his first save of the season.
Adrian Gomez and Kris Tamplet each went two for three in the game with Gomez picking up three RBI while Tamplet scored once. Adam Cook and Logan Constantine each accounted for a RBI in the second game as well.
“The first wins of the season are always big ones,” said LSUA head coach Steven Adams, Jr. “Our starting pitching really set the tone for us today in both games since Josh and Gavin were both on point, attacking the strike zone all day, our offense did what was needed to get the wins today, and then Sam Poliquin gave us the big save at the end of a 2-0 day. It was really just a fun day of baseball with two very clean, hard fought games by both teams. I’m happy to have Midland down here all the way from Nebraska and really proud of the way we played and the fact that the weather held out for us today. I have a feeling we’ll be in tight ball games all year, so it should be an exciting year for our fans and everyone who comes out to Generals Field.”
The Generals (2-3) and Warriors (2-2) close out the three-game series with a Monday morning contest. First pitch is scheduled for 10:00 A.M. at Generals Field