Lions overpower Jaguars with eight runs in bottom of seventh

An eight run seventh inning was the deciding factor for the Lions (20-10), who toppled the University of South Alabama (USA) Jaguars (14-14), in a non-conference matchup.

Sophomore left-hander Jordan Hymel took the mound for five innings for the Lions, and left with the lead intact. Hymel finished the night giving up only one earned run, on two hits, while striking out two.

The game was scoreless until the fourth, when a pair of Jaguar errors resulted in three unearned runs. Freshman outfielder Britt Gautreaux scored the first run when USA catcher Brent Tanner overthrew third baseman Jerry Roam on an attempted double-steal.  Junior designated hitter Cody Gougler advanced to second on the stolen base attempt and to third on Tanner’s errant throw. Junior catcher Jacob Fisher hit a groundball that found its way through the infield to score Gougler.

Two batters later, junior shortstop Justin Boudreaux hit an RBI double that scored sophomore second baseman Brock Hebert. Junior first baseman Justin Pace grounded out to bring the inning to a close, leaving one on base.

In the top of the fifth, Hymel coughed up his one lone run on a single back to the mound that scored Jaguar first baseman Brad Hook.  The bottom of the inning saw the Lions plate two more runs, one on a Jaguar error that scored senior outfielder Jeff Harkensee, and the other on a base hit by Fisher that plated senior outfielder Cass Hargis, bringing the score to 5-1, in favor of the Lions.

Redshirt freshman left hander Matt Pittari spelled Hymel in the top of the sixth, pitching two-thirds of an inning, giving one hit and one walk, while striking out one. Redshirt freshman right-hander Jason Greenleaf finished the inning smoothly, striking out Jaguars second baseman Trey Sorrells.

Greenleaf’s success was short-lived though, as the seventh inning saw him give up one run, and turn the ball over to sophomore right-hander Stefan Lopez. Lopez got Tanner to fly out to end the inning and the bases loaded. The Lions bolstered their lead by adding eight runs on just five hits in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Senior right-hander Jacob Ott came on in the bottom of the ninth, and gave up four runs, none earned before being pulled without recording an out for redshirt freshman left-hander Steven Poche, who gave up two more runs, but managed to record two outs. Before the inning could spiral out of control, freshman right-hander Dylan Hills came on to put it away, the final score being 13-8. The Lion’s next home game is tonight against Southern at 6 p.m.