Colonels walk off Cowboys in longest ever Southland Conference tourney game

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LAKE CHARLES – The longest game in Southland Conference Baseball Tournament history ended one minute after midnight when Nicholls first baseman Edgar Alvarez drove in pinch-hitter Jaden Collura to lead the Colonels to a 3-2 win over McNeese in 14 innings.

McNeese (34-22) will turn around and play at 11 a.m. Thursday against No. 2 seed UIW in an elimination game. The Colonels (31-22) advance to a 2:30 matchup against Lamar, a 4-1 loser to New Orleans, who will be eliminated with a loss.

The teams combined to leave 22 runners on base (11 for each) and 2-for-26 with runners in scoring position, McNeese just 1-for-14.

The Cowboys’ defense played spectacular throughout and kept the Colonels from scoring multiple times but offensively, despite out-hitting the Colonels 14-12, McNeese couldn’t get the timely hits when needed. The Cowboys also did not draw a walk in the game.

Cooper Hext led at the plate with three hits while Payton Harden, Josh Leslie, Braley Hollins and Braden Duhon each had two.

McNeese got nice pitching performances from starter Ty Abraham and first reliever Christian Vega. Abraham allowed two runs and eight hits in 5.1 innings pitched while Vega threw 6.0 scoreless innings and gave up three hits while striking out a career-high 10 batters.

Derrick Cherry (3-3) took the loss after he allowed the game-winning run and one hit in 2.1 innings.

Nicholls starter Devin Desandro pitched five innings and gave up both runs and seven hits but the bullpen of Nico Saltaformaggio, Cade Evans and Gavin Galy combined to throw nine scoreless innings, seven hits and struck out seven.

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