PINEVILLE, La. – The Louisiana College baseball team took advantage of some early command issues to build up a lead as the Wildcats completed the three-game sweep of McMurry with an 11-4 win over the War Hawks Sunday afternoon at Billy Allgood Field at Legacy Stadium.
The Wildcats hardly had to do any work to get on the board in the bottom of the first inning as all of LC’s first four batters drew walks, with Dane Pedersen’s walk forcing home Brady Atkins to make it 1-0. Christian Vandergrift’s ground ball to second scored Alex Ashby, and then Keelyn Johnson took advantage of a wild pitch to come home for a 3-0 Wildcat lead after an inning of play.
LC then used the middle innings to really start to open the gap as the Wildcats put up single scratches in each the third, fourth, and fifth innings. In the third, Ty Morgan blasted a pitch to the deepest part of the park for a two-out RBI double as Beau Freeman came all the way around from first to score. After McMurry got a run back in the top of the fourth, Keelyn Johnson came up with Brady Atkins on third base and one out in the bottom of the frame, and skied the ball out to right deep enough for Atkins to tag and score to make it 5-1 Louisiana College. After Christian Vandergrift opened the fifth with a double and stole third, Jacob Fowler brought him home with a RBI single up the middle for a 6-1 LC lead.
McMurry tried to make it a game in the seventh, pushing a run across and loaded the bases, but the Wildcats ended the threat with a ground ball to third. LC then busted the game wide open with a five spot in the bottom of the frame. With the bases loaded and no outs, Ju’Juan Franklin got a painful RBI as he was hit by a pitch to force home Christian Vandergrift to make it 7-2 LC. Brady Atkins followed with a ground ball to second that allowed Jacob Fowler to cross the plate. Keelyn Johnson then came up with the big hit with two outs as he drove a pitch all the way to the wall in right that plated Ty Morgan, Atkins, and Alex Ashby for an 11-2 lead. McMurry got two in the top of the eighth but wouldn’t threaten the large Wildcat lead.
“We played really well when we needed it,” said Louisiana College head coach Mike Byrnes. “This was a complete series, where we played well in all three aspects of the game, hitting, pitching, and fielding. We feel this weekend got us right back into the conference race, and we have a lot of positives to build off of to keep the positive momentum going.”
Keelyn Johnson’s patience at the plate paid off as he only had one official at bat in the contest, which he hit for a double. He drew three walks, drove in four runs, and scored once. Christian Vandergrift and Jacob Fowler each went two of four. Vandergrift had a double, two stolen bases, a hit by pitch, and scored twice, while Fowler walked once, stole three bases, had a RBI and a run scored. The Wildcats drew 11 walks, was hit by four pitches, and stole six bases during the contest.
Andrew Robinson (2-1) completed a weekend of solid outings by LC starting pitchers, going 6.1 innings and scattered six hits and two runs, both earned, didn’t walk any batters and struck out one. Beau Hebert went 1.1 innings and allowing three hits and two runs, both earned, with three strikeouts and no walks. Colten Newsom finished off the final 1.1 innings without allowing a hit or run.
The Wildcats (7-7, 4-5 ASC) look to finish off a stretch of four games in three days with four wins as Centenary comes to town for some Monday night baseball to make up a previously rained out game from February 14th. First pitch against the Gents (9-4) is set for 6:30 P.M. at Billy Allgood Field at Legacy Stadium.