ABILENE, Texas – The Louisiana College baseball team was a fan of the final inning, outscoring McMurry 8-2 combined in the final inning of the two games of the doubleheader to sweep both games and secure the series win over the War Hawks, 8-6 in eight inning and 10-4 in seven innings, Friday at Walt Driggers Field.
Game 1 – Louisiana College 8, McMurry 6 (8 innings)
The Wildcats found themselves in a 2-0 hole with no outs in the top of the first inning but was able to limit the damage to that thanks in part to a 5-3 double play that ended the inning to keep things tight.
LC tied it up in the third as Christian Vandergrift ripped a double to the left-center gap that plated both Alex Ashby and Nick Moreau to make it 2-2. However, the War Hawks responded in kind with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame to make it 4-2 McMurry after three.
In the fourth, the Wildcats struck again as the first four batters all reached safely, including a RBI single up the middle by Ty Morgan that scored Ju’Juan Franklin. A potential double play ball was thrown away by the War Hawk second baseman, which allowed Dane Pedersen to score from second base to tie the game at 4-4. Brodie Falgoust gave LC its first lead of the day with a RBI single that scored Beau Freeman for a 5-4 LC lead.
McMurry got tie things back up with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the frame for a 5-5 score and that’s the way it would remain into extras.
Playing into the eighth inning of the originally scheduled seven-inning game, the long ball made a very timely appearance for the Wildcats as LC took control of the game. Christian Vandergrift led off the top of the eighth with a home run to put LC in front to stay. With Keelyn Johnson standing on second base following a double, Dane Pedersen decided he wanted in on the long game too, going yard for a two-run dinger and an 8-5 LC lead.
The War Hawks didn’t go down quietly though as McMurry’s first two batters in the eighth got aboard to bring the tying run to the plate with no outs, but a double play on a line drive to second helped ease the building tension, and while the tying run would get to the plate again, he would never get on base as the Wildcats closed out the win.
Ty Morgan finished game one just a home run short of the cycle, going three-for-four with a double, a triple, and a RBI. Christian Vandergrift went two-of-four with a double, his first home run of the season, three RBI, and a run scored. Dane Pedersen’s lone hit in three at bats in the contest was his first homer on the year and accounted for both of his RBI as well as one of his two runs scored. Six of LC’s 11 hits in the contest went for extra bases.
Konnor McDermott (1-0) threw the final 1.1 innings and allowed three hits and one run, which was earned, struck out a batter and didn’t walk anyone. Andrew Robinson got the start and went 3.1 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs, three earned, struck out two and walked one. Gerald Groue, Jr. also worked 3.1 innings and gave up just two hits with three strikeouts and no runs.
Game 2 – Louisiana College 10, McMurry 4 (7 innings)
With game one having gone an extra inning, game two was cut from a scheduled nine-inning game down to seven innings, and that was just fine for the Wildcats who took the lead almost right away as Ju’Juan Franklin found a pitch he liked and blasted it for a two-run home run, driving in Christian Vandergrift with him, for an early 2-0 lead.
Brodie Falgoust made it 3-0 LC in the second inning as he dropped a two-out base hit to right field to score Beau Freeman from second base. But McMurry had an answer, scoring two in the bottom of the second and one in the third to tie the game at 3-3.
LC immediately reclaimed the lead as Dane Pedersen doubled down the left field line to open the fourth inning and was brought in on a RBI single through the left side of the infield by Beau Freeman.
The lead was extended in the sixth as Alex Ashby drew a bases loaded walk to force in Ty Morgan for a 5-3 Wildcat lead. Then came a bunch of insurance as the Wildcats closed out the doubleheader sweep in style. With one out, Beau Freeman punched a pitch through the right side into right field, scoring both Pedersen and Tyrese Morgan to make it 7-3. Alex Ashby then put the icing on the cake with a three-run blast to left that brought in Freeman and Nick Moreau for a 10-3 lead. McMurry added one in the bottom of the seventh with a mini two-out rally but would not threaten LC’s lead.
Beau Freeman had a nearly perfect game at the plate, going three-for-three with three RBI and two runs scored, a walk, and a stolen base. Dane Pedersen went two-of-four with a double and two runs scored. Alex Ashby was one-of-four, with that one being his first home run of the season which also accounted for three of his four RBI in the contest and lone run scored. Ju’Juan Franklin was also one-of-three, hitting his first homer on the year as well. He finished with two RBI and a run scored.
Brooks Southall (1-1) started on the bump and threw the first 4.2 innings, allowing five hits and three runs, two earned, struck out one and walked four in picking up his first win of the season. Colten Newsom got his first save of the season as he worked the final 2.1 innings and allowed just one hit and one run, which was earned, walked two and struck out two as well.
The Wildcats (5-2, 2-0 ASC) look to close out the series sweep of McMurry on Saturday by taking the series finale. First pitch of that final game against the War Hawks (0-3, 0-2 ASC) is set for 1:00 P.M. at Walt Driggers Field.