Nicholls falls to Southern in midweek matchup, 6-5
BATON ROUGE, La. — Despite the Nicholls State University baseball team battling back from a game-long deficit, the Colonels faltered in the final half inning at Southern as the Jaguars secured a 6-5 walk-off win Wednesday evening at Lee-Hines Stadium.
With the loss, Nicholls drops to a 23-22 overall record on the season while Southern improves to 26-19.
Brady Bell and the Colonels offense got things going quickly in the non-conference midweek game, as the senior drove a pitch straight up the middle to score Ethan Valdez from third base. In the bottom of the frame, though, the Jaguars responded with a pair of runs off back-to-back triples and a passed ball, securing a lead they would hold until the eighth inning. During the third, Southern tacked on one more run, locking up a 3-1 advantage for a majority of the contest.
The Colonels managed to find their offensive rhythm once again in the eighth, as Austin France opened the frame with a hit-by-pitch and a steal. After two consecutive outs, Dane Simon blooped a single into left field, allowing France to score and cut the Southern lead to just one. Following another hit-by-pitch, Dillon Belle pounded a 2-2 pitch into the left-center gap, notching a two-RBI double and earning Nicholls its first lead since the opening frame.
Later in the ninth, France posted a sacrifice fly to extend the Red & Gray’s edge out to a 5-3 margin. Southern fought back in the bottom of the inning, though, initially pulling within one on a sacrifice fly before picking up the walk-off on a bases-loaded single into left field.
Parker White picked up the start for Nicholls, working through 4.2 frames on the mound with three runs allowed on four hits with a trio of strikeouts. Nick Heckman served in primary relief, tossing 3.1 innings before sitting down prior to the ninth, striking out five along the way with just three hits surrendered.
Colin Kramer (1-2) was saddled with the loss for the Colonels, giving up two earned runs on one hit.
Javeyan Williams and Ashanti Wheatley hit consecutive triples to kick off the first frame for the Jaguars, initially knotting the score at 1-1 before a passed ball allowed the latter to score for a 2-1 advantage. In the ninth, Southern loaded the bases on a walk, hit-by-pitch and single in succession before a sac fly from Williams pulled the Jaguars within one run. Following an intentional walk, Malik Blaise chopped a pitch towards short to secure the win.
With the midweek schedule concluded, the Colonels return home for a three-game series against Houston Baptist, starting Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m.
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