Baseball rallies to take series against No. 4-ranked LSU Shreveport
The baseball team took two of three games to win a Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) series over No. 4-ranked LSU-Shreveport (LSUS) on March 4. The Saints improve to 13-9 overall and 7-2 in the RRAC. The Pilots drop to 13-5 overall and 6-3 in conference play.
The Saints were 8-20 against the Pilots prior to the series.
The Pilots handled the Saints in the first game of the series. They totaled nine runs on 12 hits while limiting the Saints to four hits. Starting pitcher Joshua Mendez suffered the loss after allowing three earned runs in 2.2 innings of work. Chase Dunn, John B. Ortega II, Ram Maldonado and Christopher Perez all pitched in relief. Tyler Vivier, Caimyn Holiday, Jackson Kalisky and Diego Zuniga had one hit each. LSUS won 9-0 in the nine-inning night contest.
The Saints scored two late runs to earn a comeback victory against the Pilots in game two. The Pilots took the lead in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly. The Saints rallied in the sixth inning to take the permanent 2-1 advantage. Zuniga hit a clutch two-run RBI with two outs to score Kalisky and Jacob Montejano. Alec Martinez closed his complete game in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure the victory. Martinez pitched all seven innings and allowed only three hits while striking out six. The Saints totaled four hits for the second game in a row. OLLU also played a discipled defensive game with no errors.
The series finale was a thriller. The Pilots slowly gained a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth frame. The Saints were able to cut the advantage to two runs in the sixth. Kalisky grounded out with bases loaded to score D’Artagnan Perez-Padron. Noah Rodriguez followed with a single to score two runs. LSU-Shreveport’s two-run advantage held until the ninth inning. Vincent Banda scored on an error to slice the Pilots lead to one run. Holiday pulled through with a double that scored Brandon Betancourt with one out in the inning to tie the game. The game headed to extra innings and the Saints walked it off in the bottom of the tenth. The Pilots intentionally walked two batters after Kalisky started the inning with a triple to center field. Betancourt struck out swinging to bring Perez-Padron to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded. He singled to left field to score Kalisky from third base and win the series for the Saints. The 6-5 comeback victory marked two close games the Saints prevailed in on Saturday.
The Saints welcome NCAA D3 University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) for a doubleheader on Tuesday starting at 2 p.m.