ALEXANDRIA—The LSUA baseball team split a pair of games, as it stepped out of conference, as it played eventual Red River Athletic Conference member Xavier (La) on Tuesday at the Generals Baseball Field.
LSUA (16-15) won the first matchup 9-4, before XULA bounced back to grab the nightcap 11-3.
In the first game, Kobe Baker recorded a career-high three hits, driving in two runs, and the combination of Slone Greaves and Bryce Austin slowed down a powerful Xavier attack.
The Generals scored seven runs in the final three innings of the seven-inning contest to turn a 2-2 tie into a one-sided affair.
Bryce Austin entered the game with LSUA clinging to a 3-1 lead and shut down the opponent once again. The freshman has appeared in two games and has earned the save in both games and has not allowed a run yet.
After going 2.1 innings against Champion Christian, he threw 1.1 innings on Tuesday night, allowing one run and striking out two.
In game two, XULA (16-4) scored early and often, jumping out to a 4-0 lead after an inning and a half. The Generals scored three in the bottom of the second to draw within 4-3, but the Gold Rush scored in five of the seven innings, and every time was of the multi-run variety.
Co Co Simoneaux and Danny Coleman were the biggest thorns in the side for LSUA pitching, as the pair combined to go 3-for-5 with three runs scored and six driven in. They also walked a combined three times.
LSUA returns to the field on Friday when it welcomes the University of the Southwest to Alexandria for double headers on both Friday and Saturday.
Game 1: LSUA 9, XULA 4
The Generals scored seven runs in the final three innings to take control of the game and win comfortably.
Baker recorded three of LSUA’s six hits and drove in a pair of runs.
LSUA jumped out early with single runs in the first two innings on a Brant Leslie RBI single and Bershen Minninger RBI groundout.
Whenever the Gold Rush crawled back into the game, the Generals responded immediately. After XULA came back to tie it in the top of the fourth, LSUA came right back. Jordan Ardoin collected a two-run single to shallow center field to take the lead back.
The Generals added three in the fifth on only one hit. LSUA batters walked twice and were hit three times. The one hit, though, was a big one, as Baker’s double down the left field line scored two and gave the home team a commanding 7-2 advantage.
LSUA benefitted in the first game from eight walks and six hit batters, so they were able to score nine runs on only six hits.
Greaves did what he could to keep the home team in front. He pitched 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits.
He struck out seven Gold Rush batters. Austin relieved Greaves with two on and two down in the sixth with LSUA clinging to a 7-4 lead and he induced a pop-up to the shortstop Ardoin to end the threat.
“We didn’t play real great today, but we took what we were given in the first game,” LSUA Head Baseball Coach Steven Adams, Jr. said. Slone came in and threw really well and Bryce came in and threw well to finish it for us.”
Bren Faulk had an interesting game, going 0-for-1 with three walks, two runs scored and two stolen bases.
Game 2: XULA 11, LSUA 3
XULA scored at least two runs in five innings, including two each in the first two innings, to grab an early 4-0 lead.
The two runs in the first inning were on a bloop pop-up off the bat of Jose Santos, which landed in no man’s land in shallow center field.
“Noel had a rough outing and didn’t give us a chance coming out the shoot,” Adams said. “We didn’t throw strikes in the second game and we didn’t hit the baseball.
“We have to figure out a way to finish the day on these double headers. Xavier did a good job taking it to us in the second game and didn’t let us hang around. They have a good team.”
A wild throw aided the Gold Rush’s second inning onslaught to make it 4-0.
LSUA responded with three in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs on one hit. Larson collected the hit to lead off the inning and he came around to score on a walk, wild pitch and sacrifice fly.
The Gold Rush scored seven in the final four innings to put the game away. They scored the seven runs on five hits to take over the game late.
Austin Manuel, Brant Leslie and Julien Kliebert all threw a scoreless inning of relief, combining to allow just one hit and striking out three.
Ardoin and Baker each collected a hit to add to their big days offensively.
Three players—Simoneaux, Coleman and Santos—had all eight of the RBI for XULA and Simoneaux and Jonathan Santos led the Gold Rush with two hits each.
CUTLINE: Kobe Baker collected three hits in game one and another in game two to help lead LSUA to a split against Xavier (La).
CREDIT: Cameron Mosely, LSUA Sports Media