LSUS sweeps double-header against #24 Bacone

[Information provided by: LSUS Athletics]

The LSU Shreveport Pilots (34-15, 17-9 RRAC) picked up a huge double header sweep of the 24th ranked Bacone College Warriors (34-13, 20-5 RRAC) taking game one 2-1 and winning the second game by a final of 6-0 to at the least take the series two out of three. The Pilots will play for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at Warrior Field.

K. J. Semien was the offensive standout in the combined double header collecting five hits in nine trips with one rbi while Manny Estrada (3-7), Kyle Pearson (3-7), and Ridge Gonsoulin (3-9) each had three hits and drove in a run.

GAME 1 (W, 2-1)
Cade Bowen (4-3) went the distance for the Pilots for the third time this season as he carried the Pilots on his back for a one-run victory. Bowen tossed all seven innings surrendering just seven hits to one of the NAIA's top offenses while holding them to only one run. He struck out six batters in his walk-free performance and threw 103 pitches.

Bacone's ace Adam Huizar (7-2) suffered the loss as the Pilots got him for eight hits and two runs in six innings of work.

LSUS got on the board first when Parker Hebert led off the top of the third inning with a single to center field and then went to third base on a successful hit-n-run by K. J. Semien which led to the next batter, Kyle Pearson driving in Hebert with a sac-fly to center.

The Pilots led 2-0 after Brandon Cooksey drew a leadoff walk to start the fourth and he later scored on Reed Lavallee's two-out rbi-double to deep center which proved to be the game winner. Bacone pieced together a pair of hits in the bottom of the fifth inning but Bowen came roaring back retiring eight out of the next nine batters to end the game.

The Warriors left seven runners stranded while the Pilots left six aboard. The game lasted two hours and four minute but really picked up the pace since 12 of the game's final 13 batters were retired.

Semien was the only Pilot hitter with multi-hits going 2-for-4 at the plate.

GAME 2 (W, 6-0)
The second game of the double header could have really gotten out of hand but the Pilots struggled to get the big hit to put the Warriors away leaving eight runners stranded. The Pilots did muster a five-run rally in the top of sixth inning. Already leading 1-0 thanks to a Parker Hebert rbi-double in the second, the Pilots Brandon Cooksey got the inning started with a base hit. The next batter Kade Billeaudeaux reached safely on a sac-bunt as the catcher was charged with his first error of the season on his throw to first.

With nobody out and runners at first and second Manny Estrada delivered an rbi-single after failing to get a sac-bunt down of his own. Two batters later the Pilots took advantage of another error, this one by the pitcher Allen Rimer as his attempt to throw out Kym Barthel at first base sailed up the right field line allowing two runners to score and Barthel to arrive safely at third base. Barthel was gunned down at the plate for the second out of the inning but the next two batters Ridge Gonsoulin and K. J. Semien each delivered rbi-singles to complete the five-run rally and essentially put the game out of reach.

The Pilots struggled early on the mound as starter Paul Barton and reliever Jonathan Burnett struggled to find the strike zone through the first three and 1/3 innings but the Pilots still managed to keep the warriors off the board. LSUS danced out of trouble in the first inning after Barton got the first two batters of the inning he then walked one and hit one before inducing a fly-out to end the threat.

Barton then sandwiched a strikeout between a pair of walks to set up K. J. Semien's 9-6-3 double play on a fly ball where the runner on first went too far and Semien was able to get the ball back to Estrada who rolled the double play to end the threat.

Burnett had Bacone leave two more stranded the next inning and eventually came out of the game in the bottom of the fourth when a walk and a single set the Warriors up with runners at first and second with only one out. Jason Mouton got the call from the bullpen and came in and picked off the runner on second base for the second out and two pitches later induced a ground ball to get the Pilots out of the fourth inning threat.

Mouton (7-2) was the most reliable pitcher for the Pilots working four and 2/3 innings allowing only two hits with one walk and three strikeouts on a day when even he did not have his best stuff and he still managed to get the win. Four LSUS pitcher combined for the shutout as Riley Spencer worked the scoreless ninth inning with one walk and two strikeouts.

Semien led the Pilots offense again going 3-for-5 while Gonsoulin and Estrada each had a pair of hits and a run batted in.