Offense shines as Colonels split series-opening doubleheader with Lamar
BEAUMONT, Texas — Following a postponement of Friday’s series opener due to weather, the Nicholls State University baseball program (15-18, 10-8 SLC) kicked off the four-game set against Lamar (16-12, 8-10 SLC) with a offensively-focused twin bill Saturday afternoon at Vincent-Beck Stadium, initially posting a lethal batting performance en route to a 10-3 victory before enduring the opposite — an 11-2 defeat — from the Cardinals in the latter half of the doubleheader.
The game one explosion sparked two outs deep into the second frame, as sophomore Xane Washington found the perfect connection — an 0-1 pitch taken deep to right field — for his first-ever career homer, plating three runs and vaulting the Colonels to a 4-2 advantage they would never surrender. The Red & Gray continued to pour on the runs with three more in the fourth followed by another pair to close out the fifth, the latter of which came on a two-run shot from freshman Basiel Williams over the left-field wall, good for his fourth dinger of the season.
Coincidentally, the second contest of the day had a similar vibe to its predecessor, save for the squads were flipped entirely. The Cardinal offense quickly picked up where Nicholls left off in the opener, securing a one-run edge through the first inning before siphoning off eight runs on seven hits in the second, forcing the Colonels to look to the bullpen twice during the frame. Another pair of solo runs in the third and fifth locked in the LU victory and the 1-1 twin bill split.
KEY STORYLINES & STATISTICS
— With the split, the Colonels improve to 15-18 overall for the season along with a 10-8 mark in Southland competition; meanwhile, Lamar moves to a 16-12 mark on the year with an 8-10 record in league play.
— After a brutal loss just over a week ago, sophomore starter Chase Gearing (3-2) looked back in his usual form throughout the opener as the Michigan product fought through 6.0 innings with three runs allowed on nine hits, collecting his third win of the year. Notably, relievers Nico Saltaformaggio and Josh Mancuso impressed out of the pen as well, shutting down Lamar for no runs on zero hits across the final 3.0 frames.
— Oppositely, game two starter Trever Kilcrease (2-4) absorbed his fourth loss of the season as the senior surrendered seven runs on seven hits through just 1.1 frames of work. The remaining five relievers gave up four runs on six hits across the final 7.2 innings, striking out just two along the way.
— Offensively, sophomore Austin Cain found his rhythm at the plate as the transfer registered five hits on the day — including a four-hit sequence in game one — for one RBI and two runs scored. Washington chipped in two hits and three runs scored to go along with his three RBIs while three more Colonels — junior Dane Simon, senior Dillon Belle and Williams — each wrapped up the doubleheader with multi-hit performances, including two RBIs apiece for the former and the latter.
With the four-game set knotted at one win apiece, the Red & Gray enter Sunday’s doubleheader aiming to lock down their first Southland series victory since the Stephen F. Austin sweep back in mid-March, first pitch for the twin bill slated for 1 p.m.
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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