Demons ride Prestwich’s gem to win at UL Monroe

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MONROE — Chase Prestwich had hitters confused all night long for the Northwestern State baseball tea, against UL Monroe on Wednesday evening.

Prestwich, who improved his record to 2-0, threw a career-best seven innings and surrendered just a single run, leading Northwestern State (6-6) to a 3-1 victory against ULM. He mowed through a lineup that had not scored fewer than three runs in a game all season.

“Chase was outstanding,” seventh-year head coach Bobby Barbier said. “He smothered them with strikes all night, having only one three-ball count the entire game. It was impressive.

As good as Prestwich was, the Warhawks (6-8) had a chance to tie in the ninth inning after a one-out single and double put the tying runners on.

Kyle Froehlich, who pitched a perfect eighth inning, hunkered down and ended the game with a strikeout and flyout to earn his second save of the season.

“Froehlich came in and did what he has done all year so far for us,” Barbier said. “He made big pitches to slam the door shut, especially when they had the tying runner on with less than two outs. He was phenomenal.

The contest could not have started much better for the Demons, as three straight batters reached, tallying a pair of hits in the first inning, including a double by reigning Southland Conference Player of the Week Daunte Stuart.

NSU cashed in on the opportunity with one run on a sacrifice fly from Jake Haze, but stranded two of the 10 baserunners left on in the game by the Demons.

“I thought we hit some balls hard that didn’t find grass,” Barbier said. “Even with that, I am proud of our guys for sticking with it and they kept battling. Fortunately, it worked out for us.”

ULM had a two-out rally to score its lone run of the game in the third. Shawn Weatherbee began the rally with a double and it was followed by a Kade Dupont RBI single.

Warhawks starting pitcher Brandt Corley worked his way in and out of traffic in every other inning. Corley allowed eight baserunners in the first, third and fifth innings, but limited the damage to just two runs in the five innings, keeping ULM in the game.

Corley took the tough-luck loss, falling to 0-2 on the season.

The Demons took the lead for good in the fifth. Once again, NSU had three straight batters reach, scoring a run on Michael Dattalo’s double, which followed a Gabe Colaianni single and walk to Stuart.

Dattalo went 3-for-4 with the RBI, leading the NSU offense.

Bo Willis finished the scoring with an RBI double in the sixth inning, scoring Jeffrey Elkins from second after a walk and steal.

That was more than enough offense for Prestwich, who retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced following Dupont’s RBI single in the third. The only batter who reached was Riley Davis, who reached on an error.

Davis reached three times in the game, reaching twice on hits and once on the error. He was the only Warhawks player to have more than one hit.

“I am very proud of the effort to beat a good team on the road,” Barbier said.

The Demons return to action Friday when they host Alabama A&M to begin a three-game set at Brown-Stroud Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

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