No. 1 Nicholls State University 4, No. 3 Lamar University 0
* Courtesy – Southland Conference
LAKE CHARLES, La. — Top-seeded Nicholls followed a strong pitching performance by the conference Freshman of the Year to take a 4-0 win over third seed Lamar in the 2023 Southland Conference Baseball Championship on Thursday.
The win came a day after the longest game in Southland Conference Baseball Tournament history that ended with Nicholls’ Edgar Alavarez hitting a walk-off single in the 14th inning for a 3-2 win over sixth-seeded McNeese.
The Colonels move to 32-22 on the year and take on the winner of tonight’s New Orleans/Northwestern State game at 11 a.m. Friday in the winners’ bracket semifinals. Lamar sees its season end at 32-23.
SLC Freshman of the Year Jacob Mayers went 7.1 innings, striking out five and allowing six hits and two walks, but consistently worked around trouble. Lamar had runners in scoring position in three of his innings and he avoided runs each time.
The Colonels’ defense executed double plays in the third, fourth, and fifth inning to help a pair of early runs stand up.
Nicholls scored converted a Xane Washington walk in the first inning into a run on Austin Cain’s two-out RBI single. The Colonels extended their lead to 2-0 in the second on Washington’s run-scoring single to plate Wes Toups, who had reached on a one-out walk.
The lead was doubled in the fourth inning after three consecutive singles by Toups, Kaden Amundson, and Parker Coddou. Coddou’s hit brought home one run, followed by a Washington sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
Mayers and reliever Chase Gearing (1.2 innings, two hits, one walk, two strikeouts, no runs) kept the run column empty to push the Colonels to the winners’ bracket semifinals.
For Nicholls, Washington went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a steal and a walk.
For Lamar, Tanner Wilson, Ethan Ruiz, and Josh Blankenship all had two hits apiece. Hunter Hesseltine was tagged with the loss, allowing four earned runs on six hits in 3.1 innings.