LSU Eunice eliminates Jones to reach Region XXIII championship round

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POPLARVILLE, Ms. – LSU Eunice turned a back-and-forth game into a late blowout as the Bengals scored seven runs in the final two innings during an 11-3 victory over Jones College on Wednesday at Dub Herring Park in the Region 23 Championship.

The Bengals (40-16) move on to face Pearl River CC on Thursday at 4 p.m., needing a win to force a winner-take-all game on Friday.

LSUE will play in its fourth straight Region 23 Championship game and has been one of the final two teams standing in the postseason tournament for the 13th time in Jeff Willis’s 20-year tenure at LSUE.

Through the first seven innings against Jones, the two sides were never separated by more than two runs, tying twice. Jones was first to score in the second inning, followed by the Bengals taking the lead off a wild pitch and Peyton LeJeune solo home run to right field.

The Bobcats would knot it up at 2 in the fifth before the Bengals went ahead for good in the sixth inning. Cole Romero would knock an RBI single to left field, scoring Peyton LeJeune. Alexander Saunier would come home on a wild pitch later in the frame to make it 4-2 LSUE.

Saunier continued his standout week in the Region 23 Tournament, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

The freshman would help start the late surge, driving in Reed Eason on an eighth inning single. Carter Quinn would push across another as LSUE would still leave some at the table, ending the inning with the bases loaded.

LSUE would deliver the knockout blow in the ninth, plating five runs in the ninth off three hits and four errors. Bryce LaRocca, Cole Romero, Kole Myers and Peyton LeJeune would bring home runs as the Bengals pushed their lead to 11-3.

The Bengals posted a 12-hit game, led by multi-hit games from Myers, LaRocca and Saunier.

Brendan Moody would grab the win after tossing five full innings, scattering two earned runs off four hits and two walks. Moody (W, 2-0) struck out two batters, working in traffic a few times during the early innings, leaving seven Jones runners stranded.

The bullpen duo of Drew Lasseigne and Jackson Rodriguez would turn off the faucet in the final third of the game, tossing 3.1 innings of shutout relief.

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