Slow start catches up to Lions in series finale at Demons

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NATCHITOCHES, La. – Northwestern State scored twice in the first three innings of Sunday’s series finale, holding off Southeastern Louisiana the rest of the way in the Demons’ 5-2 win at Brown-Stroud Field.

Southeastern (25-15, 12-6 Southland) cut the Northwestern State (19-15, 8-7 Southland) lead in half in the fifth.

Nathan Pilutti, a junior from Destrehan, Louisiana, single up the middle leading off the inning, advancing to second on a groundout. Brennan Breaud followed up by slicing a double over the head of the left fielder, driving in Pilutti.

The Demons responded with a run in the bottom of the inning, regaining a two-run advantage.

After a double play erased a leadoff single by Northwestern State, right fielder Tyler Smith pulled a solo home run out of the ballpark to right. The homer chased Lion starting pitcher Kade Granier from the game.

Southeastern pulled back within a run, 3-2, in the seventh.

Pilutti reached on a fielding error by the shortstop to open up the inning. He advanced to third on Trey Harrington’s single through the right side. Breaud once again drove in Pilutti, this time on a groundout to second.

The Demons answered again, this time with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 5-2 lead.

After retiring the first two batters of the inning, reliever Will Warren issued back-to-back walks to designated hitter J.P. Lagreco and Smith. Left fielder Austin Stegall, a defensive replacement in the sixth, greeted reliever Bryce Tassin with a two-run double down the left-field line.

Singles by catcher Daniel Wasinger, pinch hitter Taylor Schwaner and Breaud loaded the bases in the ninth, but the Lions stranded all three.

Nathan Jones (2-3) tossed a complete game for the Demons, earning the win. He scattered eight hits and one walk, striking out 10 batters. Granier (2-3) suffered the loss, allowing three runs – two earned – in 4.2 innings.

Breaud led Southeastern with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, driving in both runs.

The loss snaps the Lions’ string of 10 straight series victories in conference play.

Southeastern returns home Tuesday, hosting No. 12-ranked Southern Miss for Study Break Night and a Cane’s Challenge at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Single game tickets for Lion home games can be purchased online at or by contacting the athletics ticket office at (985) 549-5466.

General Admission tickets are $9 for adults and $6 for children (ages 3-12). Tax is included in the price of admission. Southeastern students are admitted free with a valid university ID card.

Students, campus organizations and fans can earn points toward their Lion Up Loyalty account at any home game by checking in on the mobile app while in attendance.

Fans interested in becoming active supporters of the baseball program are encouraged to join the Diamond Club. Lion baseball alums are encouraged to join the exclusive S Club, which is restricted to Southeastern athletic letter winners. S Club members also gain membership in the Diamond Club.

All membership fees and donations to both the Diamond Club and S Club (baseball) are available for the exclusive use of the Southeastern baseball program. Membership information is available by contacting the Lion Athletics Association at or (985) 549-5091.

For more information on Lions Baseball, follow @Lions_Baseball on Twitter, @SLU_LionsBaseball on Instagram, like /SLUathletics on Facebook and subscribe to the SLUathletics YouTube channel.

Northwestern State 5, Southeastern 2
(Apr 15, 2018 at Natchitoches, La.)
Southeastern………… 000 010 100 – 2 8 2 (25-15, 12-6 SLC)
Northwestern State.. 101 010 20X – 5 9 1 (19-15, 8-7 SLC)
Pitchers: Southeastern – Granier, Kade; Warren, Will (5); Tassin, Bryce (7) and Wasinger, Daniel. Northwestern State – Jones, Nathan and Richard, Kelsey.

Win-Jones, Nathan (2-3) Loss-Granier, Kade (2-3) T-2:41 A-480
HR NWST – Smith, Tyler (4).
Weather: 54 and sunny; wind: 14 mph WNW

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