Baseball: Colonels sweep San Jose State behind early offensive explosion

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THIBODAUX, La. – The Nicholls State University baseball team scored all of its runs in the first three innings against San Jose State and went on to earn its third sweep of the season with a 10-7 victory Sunday afternoon on Ben Meyer Diamond at Didier Field.

With the sweep, Nicholls upped its record to 23-21 on the season while extending its winning streak to four games. San Jose State fell to 18-26 after losing five straight to the Colonels. The teams met in San Jose in 2013 with SJSU winning the opener before Nicholls won the final two.

Nicholls had 11 hits in Sunday’s victory with over half coming from Ethan Valdez and Champ Davison, who each had three. Both were on base in the first inning when Alec Paz lifted a grand slam down the left field line for the early 4-0 lead.

The Colonels added one in the second on a Davison RBI single, then he capped a five-run third with a 2-RBI triple. Trailing 10-1, San Jose State fought back with three runs in the fifth and eighth innings but were unable to complete the comeback.

Matthew Harrison (2-0) earned the win for the Colonels, tossing 1.2 innings of relief. He checked into the game in the fifth for starter Shane Mejia Jr. after the freshman lefty gave up four hits in the inning. Mejia totaled 4.1 innings with four earned runs on seven hits in the no-decision.

Jonathan Clark was tagged with the loss for San Jose, giving up seven earned runs on nine hits in 7.0 innings.

Nicholls took advantage of a couple of errors by the visitors in the third to add to its lead.

Dillon Belle legged out an infield single for the first run in the frame, then Tre Turner, who was 2 for 3 in his first career start, gave Nicholls a 7-1 lead on a sacrifice fly. Following an error that kept the inning going, Valdez singled home a run and Davison tripled to right for the 10-1 advantage.

San Jose’s fifth was highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of Aaron Pleschner. They added another run in the inning before duplicating the effort in the eighth. With two down, back-to-back RBI singles chased Cyle Clayton out of the game, and Holland allowed an RBI single to make it 10-7. But Belle ended the inning when he threw out Brandon Peterson trying to steal second.

In the ninth, San Jose put two runners on before the Colonels turned a 4-6-3 double play. Holland ended the game with a strikeout for his first save of the season.

Nicholls will head to Baton Rouge Wednesday to take on Southern University. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Following Wednesday’s game at Southern, the Colonels return home for a three-game series against HBU, starting Friday, May 3 at 6 p.m.

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