Baseball: Late-inning homer downs Colonels in finale vs. UIW

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THIBODAUX, La. – The Nicholls State University baseball team totaled 10 hits in the series finale against UIW, but the visitors used a three-run home run in the ninth to win 7-4 Sunday afternoon on Ben Meyer Diamond at Didier Field.

With the loss, Nicholls fell to 18-18 overall and 9-9 in the Southland. UIW improved to 23-13 and 11-7.

The Colonels were led at the plate with two hits each from Ethan Valdez and Waylon LeBlanc. One of the Colonel hits came in the seventh when Dillon Belle laced a double down the line in right field. Tre Turner subbed in to pinch run, stole third and then scored on an Adam Tarver strikeout. The pitch bounced in the dirt and despite the Cardinal catcher looking him back before throwing to first, Turner was able to beat the throw back to home, tying the game at 4-4.

But in the ninth, a pair of UIW singles set up Ryan Flores for a three-run homer over the right-field wall. Nicholls had two singles in the ninth but was unable to piece together a rally.

Beau Balado (1-3) took the loss with 2.2 innings of relief. He surrendered the first single in the final frame and finished with two strikeouts. Shane Mejia Jr. made the start, lasting 4.1 innings with two earned runs on six hits.

Both teams scored in the first, with Valdez homering for the Colonels to tie the game at 1-1. UIW grabbed the lead back on a Chance Medina solo shot in the third, but Nicholls answered with two-run single to left by Tarver in the bottom half for a 3-2 advantage.

UIW regained the lead with two runs in the sixth before Turner’s play at the plate evened the score back up.

The visitors finished with 13 hits, with six Cardinals recording two apiece. Bernie Martinez earned the win with one earned run on four hits in 3.1 innings.

The Colonels will have the midweek off before returning to play Southeastern Louisiana. The first two games will be in Hammond on Thursday and Friday, with Saturday’s game in Thibodaux scheduled for 2 p.m.

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