Gearing start, Washington walk-off lifts Colonels in UT Martin series opener

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THIBODAUX, La. — Anchored by a couple elite pitching performances from starter Chase Gearing and reliever Joe Taylor, the Nicholls State University baseball program (12-12, 8-4 SLC) finally leveraged the lineup’s solid hitting output into a game-winning RBI from Xane Washington deep into the 11th frame, clinching the non-conference series opener against UT Martin (9-12, 3-3 OVC) by a 2-1 margin Thursday evening at Ben Meyer Diamond at Ray E. Didier Field.

Despite both squads closing out the contest with 11 hits apiece, the Colonels and Skyhawks struggled to push runs across the plate as multiple opportunities crumbled under the weight of stellar pitching. Notably, the Red & Gray even managed to load the bases in both the sixth and eighth innings, yet only aggregated a single run during that span en route to an eventual extra innings bullpen duel.

KEY STORYLINES & STATISTICS
— With the win, the Colonels improve to .500 (12-12) for the season; meanwhile, UT Martin falls to a 9-12 record overall.
— In his seventh start already this season, JUCO transfer Chase Gearing compiled easily the most impressive outing of his young career sporting the Red & Gray, tossing 7.1 innings with just one run surrendered on nine hits with zero walks and nine batters set down on strikes. Notably, Gearing set new career bests in nearly all of the aforementioned categories, including innings pitched, runs given up, strikeouts and walks.
— Out of the bullpen, freshman Devin Desandro took over for 1.0 frame, giving up two hits for no runs, before southpaw ace Joe Taylor (1-3) collected the eventual victory — his first of the season — behind 2.2 innings of work with zero runs allowed on no hits along with a trio of strikeouts.
— Offensively, senior Greg Anderberg found his rhythm behind his first four-hit game as a Colonel, plating the team’s lone run within regulation on a tough roller down towards third base. Meanwhile, both Washington and junior Dane Simon notched multi-hit performances as well, as the duo each picked up a pair on the night.

UP NEXT
With the opener against UTM concluded, the Red & Gray move onto game two of the three-game series Friday evening at Ray E. Didier Field, first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m.

STAY SOCIAL
For more information on Colonels Baseball, follow the team on Twitter (@Nicholls_BSB), Instagram (@geauxcolonels) and like their Facebook page (Nicholls Athletics).

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