The LSU Shreveport Pilots made it interesting against the 4th ranked team in NCAA Division II but could not complete the comeback as the Southern Arkansas University Muleriders had to bring in their closer to finish off the Pilots 7-2 on Tuesday night.
"Our team needs to do a better job preventing crooked numbers," said LSUS Pitching Coach Brent Lavallee. Southern Arkansas (28-8) put five runs on the board in the bottom half of the second inning on five hits off LSUS starter Jason Mouton who suffered his first loss of the season.
"Lately, we have been allowing too many free bases both as a pitching staff and defensively," said Lavallee as Mouton allowed three walks as he had just walked four all season coming into tonight's start. "If we limit the damage in the second inning, when SAU scored 5, things might have turned out different."
SAU starter Yumenzo Densaki (3-1) did a good job at keeping the Pilots off the bases as he did not allow a hit until the fifth inning when Blair Landry and Kym Barthel got back-to-back infield singles. Densaki worked six solid innings allowing one earned run, no walks, and three strikeouts.
The Pilots, who are now the 7th-ranked team in the NAIA in the latest poll released by the national office today, loaded the bases in the ninth inning as Connor McMullin led off the inning with the first hit of the game that made it out of the infield. Two walks and an RBI-single from William Breland forced the SAU coach to go to his closer to try to keep the Pilots from making a comeback.
Preston Gray earned his ninth save of the season on two pitches as David Dorton lined out to the first baseman and then Mikey Ford was doubled off second to end the game.
Up next: The Pilots will travel to Tyler, Texas, to take on the Texas College Steers with doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday beginning both days at 1 p.m.