Dillard’s five-run ninth beats XULA; city rivals to meet in noon Saturday doubleheader

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NEW ORLEANS — Baseball newbie Dillard scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning Friday to score an 11-7 victory against Xavier University of Louisiana in the opener of a three-game series.

The Gold Rush (3-1) and Bleu Devils (3-7) will play a noon doubleheader — two seven-inning games — Saturday at Barrow. Tickets are available online only; buy them here.

Trailing 7-6 and down to its last three outs, Dillard rallied without hitting a ball safely out of the infield. Nicholas Pena scored from third base on a passed ball to tie the score, then pinch-runner Renard Smith scored the go-ahead run on an infield error.

XULA loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, then Dillard’s defense clinched with a double play.

Ty’Mitchell McCollough and Trey Williams had three hits apiece for Dillard, and McCullough and Jonathan Miles had two RBIs apiece. Jorge Guerra pitched a complete game for the Bleu Devils and struck out eight.

Dillon Cousin had four RBIs, including a three-run homer, to help XULA rally from a 6-1 deficit. Also for the Gold Rush, D’Aires Davis and Courtland Posey hit doubles, and Miles Peterson and Cohen Boyd tripled. Cousin, Davis and Eliam Dudamel had two hits apiece.

The Gold Rush scored twice in the seventh to take its only lead. Cousin’s two-out single scored Posey to break a tie at 6.

XULA pitchers struck out 15 Bleu Devils. Starter Juan Gonzalez struck out seven, and first reliever Colby Henderson added six more.

This is Dillard’s first season of intercollegiate baseball. This is XULA’s third season of its second era of baseball; that first era ended in 1960.

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