Nicholls State falls at Southern University, 8-6
BATON ROUGE — Southern rallied with six runs in the eighth inning for an 8-6 victory against Nicholls State at Pete Goldsby Field.
With a 6-2 lead going into the bottom of the eighth, Nicholls (7-7) brought in Kelby Langston (0-2) to set up closer Jordan McCoy to close out the game.
Unfortunately, the Colonels had a breakdown in the inning leading to the Jaguar (6-5) offensive onslaught as the Jaguars plated six runs for the lead and ultimately, the win.
The trouble began with an error, followed by a hit batter and three consecutive singles to chase Langston from the game and bring in McCoy with one out.
McCoy got the final two outs but not before Southern got three more hits and scored three more times to pull ahead.
Before Southern’s big inning, Nicholls starting pitcher Grant Borne went four innings, surrendering a run on three hits and striking out six.
Brandon Jackson, who sat out the first few weeks of the season after hand surgery, made his first appearance and struck out three in two innings, allowing just two hits.
Marc Picciola allowed just one run on one hit.
Just as he did in the first game against Southern, Matt Richard led off the game with a hit and would produce two more as the senior outfielder went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored to lead the team, followed by Mike Barba and Keith Cormier, who each finished with two on the night.
Nicholls was walked seven times, but the Colonels stranded nine runners to Southern’s five.
Facing the same starter the second time around, the Colonels began the game, getting to Jaguar starter Camilo Godoy. Richard’s single began a tough string as Godoy walked three of the next four batters to put Nicholls on the board with a 1-0 lead. Nicholls scored again in the third as Barba doubled down the left field line and scored on the next play after a single by Philip Lyons to put Nicholls back on top 2-1.
After a scoreless middle three innings by both teams, Nicholls put a two-out rally together in the seventh with a Richard single and Barba triple beginning the rally. After a walk to Lyons, one of his three on the night, the junior second baseman stole second, allowing Barba to score for the second Colonel run of the inning.
Another single by Cormier scored Lyons to put Nicholls up 5-2.
After Southern made the game 5-3, the Colonels took the run back in the eighth as Zachary LeBeouf scored after a David Zorn sacrifice bunt and back-to-back singles by Leo Vargas and Richard for a 6-3 Nicholls advantage.
Of Southern’s four pitchers, closer Josh Powell was the only Jaguar to not give up a run.
Zephan Rochelle earned the win as he surrendered one run in his inning of work on two hits with a walk and strikeout in the top of the eighth.
Godoy and his reliever John Thigpen combined to give up five runs on six hits with six walks in six innings
The Colonels return to action Friday, beginning a three-game series against the Sacred Heart Pioneers at 6:30 p.m. at Ray E. Didier Field.