Nunez splits John Melvin doubleheader Saturday
Crowley, LA – Levi Brewster pitched 6 solid innings, and Ashtyn Ellis delivered the deciding blow as his team bunched all their runs in one inning, and Nunez Community College held on for a 5-3 victory in the opener of a Saturday doubleheader against John Melvin University on a mild and windy afternoon at Fezzo’s Field.
In Game 2, lefthander Cabet Blanchard kept the Pel hitters mostly off-balance for 7 innings, and the Millers rallied for 2 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, with the winning hit in the 4-3 decision being delivered by a familiar face.
Upon arriving at the games’ venue, the Pelicans were greeted with a couple of surprises. First, because of a high school tournament, the games were moved from historic Miller Stadium to an adjacent auxiliary field. Then, with the Pels expecting to play the Miller JV, the home team had instead placed their full varsity on the diamond.
GAME 1 – NUNEZ 5 JOHN MELVIN 3 (7 innings)
Nunez, in the top of the third, took advantage of some early JMU mound wildness, with their first 3 RBI’s coming all on free passes. Alex Crews led off with a walk and Collin Zeringue followed with a sharp ground single into center. After Crews was forced at third on a fielder’s choice, Peyton Cooper was hit-by-pitch to load the bases. What next followed was a walk to Reggie Bergeron, and Caleb Duhon and James Bendeck being hit by pitches, to force in 3 runs. Ellis next followed with his blast into the right-field alley to plate Bergeron and Duhon and stake Brewster to a 5-0 lead.
Brewster completed his stint giving up 5 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 7, with his lone earned run coming in the sixth on a wind-blown fly ball to left field that dropped in for a double after the fielder slipped down, and that was followed by a 2-out ground single into left field to cut it to 5-1.
With the Pel offense unable to generate any insurance, the Millers were able to mount a serious threat in the bottom of the seventh as a single and 2 walks loaded the bases with none out. Pel second-sacker Cooper then made a possible game-saving diving stop of Kade Massey’s hard grounder into the 43 hole and then delivered a seat-of-the-pants throw to first to record the out with a run scoring. After another walk re-loaded the sacks, closer Willy Flynn was called in from the bullpen and induced a weak ground-out to third with another run racing home. Then, with the tying runs in scoring position, Flynn reared back and struck out Connor Varnum on a 3-2 fast ball to end the game and register the save.
Score By innings – Sat 3/11 Game 1
Nunez – 005 000 0 – 5 5 1
John Melvin – 000 001 2 – 3 6 0
W – Brewster L – Paul. Save – Flynn
Brewster, Austin (7), Flynn (7) and Manson.
Paul, Sanders (3), and Durr.
2B – Ellis, Sonnier.
GAME 2 – JOHN MELVIN 4 NUNEZ 3 (7 innings)
Melvin dented the scoreboard first, getting one in the bottom of the first on Kade Sonnier’s 1-out line-double to left that was followed by a single and fielding error on a grounder to the right of the mound. JMU then added another the next inning as Varnum lead off with a hard-ground single to center that was followed by an infield throwing error, wild pitch, and infield single to short.
The Pelicans were then able to tie it at 2-2 in the third as, after Bendeck and Ellis drew 1-out walks, Bendeck reached third on a wild-pitch and Ellis stole second. Bendeck then scored on Noah Detillier’s RBI-groundout to 3rd, with Ellis also moving up and next scoring on Crews’ infield single to third.
Nunez then took the lead in the fourth as Evan Rohlfs lined a 1-out double to the right-center gap, with courtesy-runner Davison Stokes then advancing to third on Dylan Jimenez’ groundout to third. Bendeck then grounded a single into the third-short hole to give the Pels a 3-2 lead.
Fast-forward to the bottom of the sixth where the Millers used some small ball to take the lead. A walk and Massey’s single to left were followed by a perfect sacrifice to move both runners into scoring position.
Fifth-year Covid-junior Landon LeBlanc, who was the Nunez most valuable offensive player last season, then stepped in for the Millers and grounded an 0-1 pitch into centerfield to plate the tying and go-ahead runs. Flynn, who had made his second appearance of the day earlier in the frame, then struck out the final 2 batters to end the inning and keep the deficit at one run.
Blanchard (7IP, 5H, 3R, 3W, 2K) then took the mound in the top of the 7th and retired the first two batters on a groundout and strikeout. Ellis next kept the game alive for the Pels with a line-single to center. Detillier then just missed twice giving the Pels the lead, as his towering blast to left curved foul just before the pole, and then 3 pitches later, his long drive to the deepest part of the field in straightaway center was knocked down by a stiff breeze at the warning track to end the game.
Freshman starter Cole Bordes lasted all the way into the sixth inning for Nunez, yielding 7 hits and 3 earned runs while walking just one and striking out 5.
The Pelican offense recorded 10 hits on the day spread over 8 different batters, with just those 2 extra-base knocks and no batter recording more than one hit in either game. Sonnier went 3-for-6 for JMU with 2 doubles and an RBI.
Score By innings – Sat 3/11 Game 2
Nunez – 002 100 0 – 3 5 2
John Melvin – 110 002 x – 4 8 0
W – Blanchard L – Bordes
Bordes, Flynn (6), and Rohlfs.
Blanchard and Durr.
2B – Rohlfs, Sonnier.
The Pelicans will be back in Chalmette this Tuesday, March 14 for Fan Day at Noel Suarez Stadium, where they will welcome all Nunez alumni, students, faculty, staff, families, and friends.
Nunez will play Triton College of River Grove, IL in a doubleheader beginning at 4PM. The Trojans will be completing a current 9-game spring-break road trip against the Pelicans.
Nunez students, faculty, and staff will be admitted free with Nunez ID.
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