Baseball: Colonels defeat Privateers, 9-1, to win series Sunday

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THIBODAUX, La. – Three runs in the first inning were more than enough for Nicholls State University starting pitcher Shane Mejia and the rest of the staff as the Colonels cruised to a 9-1 win over New Orleans Sunday, earning the series victory in the opening weekend of Southland Conference play.

The win put Nicholls at 9-8 overall and 2-1 in the Southland. New Orleans fell to 9-5 and 1-2.

In all three games, the Colonel starting pitchers tossed at least five shutout innings against the Privateers. Mejia’s outing consisted of five scoreless frames, allowing five hits while striking out three. The win improved the freshman’s record to 3-0.

At the plate, the Colonels had 10 hits with Brady Bell and Ivan Prejean recording two each. Ethan Valdez, Alec Paz, and Champ Davison all doubled against the Privateers, and Austin France led the team with two RBIs. The extra-base hit by Paz in the fifth extended his on-base streak to 17 games.

Nicholls took advantage of four UNO errors while committing none for the third straight game. Over the last seven games, the defense has been charged with just two errors.

The fast start began with the first three Colonel hitters reaching base. With one out, France drove in Davison on a fielder’s choice. Valdez then drew a bases-loaded walk, and Chris Sandberg made it 3-0 with an RBI single to center. Valdez tried to score from second on the play but was thrown out at home.

After leaving the bases full in the fourth and fifth innings, the Colonels were able to double their lead in the sixth. Two throwing errors by UNO pitcher Zach Thompson allowed one run to cross the plate, and Bell put the score at 5-0 on a sac fly. France sent a single up the middle for the sixth run of the game.

UNO scored its lone run in the seventh, but the Colonels got it right back on a Dane Simon sacrifice fly. Davison followed with a run-scoring double for an 8-1 lead, and Bell tacked on one more run in the eighth with an RBI single to center.

Colin Kramer pitched 1.1 innings out of the bullpen, giving up one run and two hits. Zach Autin recorded two outs in the seventh and struck out one, and Brandon Andrews closed it out with two shutout innings.

Nicholls will host Alcorn State Tuesday at 6 p.m. for the first game of a home-and-and. The Colonels play at Alcorn Wednesday before heading to Central Arkansas for a weekend series.

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