Nicholls falls to Southern Illinois 8-7 in extra innings
Jake Hand’s RBI single in the 11th gave the Southern Illinois Salukis an 8-7 victory Saturday against the Nicholls State Colonels in the Carmel Inn Showdown presented by the Sports Medicine Center of Thibodaux Regional.
The loss was the Colonels first loss at Ray E. Didier Field in four games this season.
Senior outfielder Keith Cormier belted a two-run home run in the first inning, as Nicholls (3-4) raced out to an early 3-0 lead. The long ball was Cormier’s first of the year and part of a three-hit performance for him. Junior outfielder David Zorn, a Berwick High alum, added an RBI single in the second frame.
But, Nicholls sophomore southpaw Grant Borne encountered trouble in the third, uncorking a run-scoring wild pitch before J.C. DeMuri notched an RBI single. An error on the play allowed two additional runs to score, giving Southern Illinois (4-2) a 4-3 advantage.
Borne was pulled after the inning after surrendering five hits and four runs — two earned — with three walks and a strikeout in a no-decision.
The Salukis put up more runs in the fourth, as an error led to a three-run frame. Donny Duschinsky inflicted the damage with a two-out, two-run triple.
Down 7-3, Nicholls would start their comeback in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by senior third baseman Tyler Duplantis. Southern Illinois starter Todd Eaton departed following the inning after being tagged for nine hits and four earned runs with one walk and six strikeouts.
The Colonels got to Saluki reliever Matt Murphy for two runs in the sixth, taking advantage of a pair of errors. Senior second baseman Philip Lyons recorded an RBI groundout and freshman outfielder Justin Holt later came home on a Saluki miscue.
Nicholls knotted the game at 7 in the 8th on a run-scoring single by Lyons, who went 3-for-6 with two RBIs and a stolen base.
But, Southern Illinois’ Hand delivered a two-out single in the 11th off sophomore lefty Zach Thiac (0-1), chasing in Matt Jones from second base for the winning run. It broke a string of 25 2/3 consecutive innings without an earned run allowed by the Nicholls bullpen.
Jones was the offensive star for Southern Illinois, going 3-for-5 with a double.
Kyle Pruemer (1-0) picked up the win, tossing two hitless innings with a walk. Tyler Dray registered the save, stranding a runner on first base in the 11th.
Zorn finished the contest 2-for-6 with two RBIs, a run and a stolen base.
Nicholls continues its seven-game homestand Tuesday, taking on Tulane at 6 p.m.