MONROE -- The Northwestern State baseball team played well enough Wednesday night to extend its six-game winning streak.
Unfortunately for the Demons, a pair of late swings by UL Monroe’s Trent Tingelstad halted the Demons’ run and gave the Warhawks an 8-4 win at Warhawk Field.
“We just got beat tonight,” third-year head coach Bobby Barbier said. “That’s what I told them. We didn’t play poorly at all. We limited the strikeouts, which has been a bug-a-boo for us. Jerry (Maddox) settled own. He had the one tough inning. They get a few balls up in the wind, and they get out of the yard. We have to put it behind us, and come out and play well Friday.”
Tingelstad’s wind-blown solo home run to left in the seventh inning doubled a one-run ULM (15-18) lead and started a two-run inning.
The Demons (19-12) answered with two in their half of the eighth on Jakob Nunez’ two-out, RBI single and a run-scoring passed ball to cut the lead to one – a deficit it appeared would stand after Austin Reich retired the first two hitters of the ULM eighth.
Reich fanned Braedon Barrett with two outs and nobody on, but a passed ball allowed Barrett to reach. After Joey Jordan’s check-swing, infield single, Tingelstad floated his second home run in as many at-bats, using the wind to slice it down the left-field line for three key insurance runs.
“I thought Austin Reich threw the ball really well,” Barbier said. “We miss a sign on a passed ball. Small plays in the game turn out to be big. After that was the infield hit and the three-run homer. It’s learning, constantly learning on how important the little things are.”
The Demons grabbed an early lead on Nunez’ second-inning sacrifice fly that scored Hilton Brown, whose one-out single started the rally. Brown finished 3-for-4, three days after seeing his first career three-hit game erased by rain in Sunday’s series finale against Nicholls.
After the Warhawks tied the game with a run against Jerry Maddox (2-3), Brown reclaimed the lead for Northwestern State with a two-out RBI double that scored Sam Taylor, who had bunted for a base hit and stolen second base.
“Hilton’s a really special hitter and is going to be a good hitter in this league for a long time,” Barbier said of the freshman, who has hit safely in a season-long eight straight games. “He’s using the entire field, and he’s been much better with two strikes, which can be tough on freshmen.”
Chad Bell’s two-run home run in the third inning off Maddox gave ULM the lead for good before Maddox settled in and put up three scoreless innings. Maddox worked six innings, scattering five hits and allowing three runs while striking out five.
The Demons continue their four-game road trip Friday when they open a three-game Southland Conference series at Southeastern Louisiana. First pitch is set for 6 p.m at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.