Lions complete sweep

Last Wednesday night the Lions (15-6, 3-3) completed a sweep over SEC opponent, Mississippi State Bulldogs with an impressive 5-1 victory.
The Lions began strong, scoring two runs in the first inning and securing their lead, which they held for the duration of the game. This win landed the Lions with a (13-5) record for the season.
“Our guys really dominated. We played faster than them and they couldn’t keep up. We expected to win,” said head coach Jay Artigues. “It sounds like a bold and brash statement, but I really do think we’re the better ball team.”
The third inning saw a lot of action, with strong performances from junior left fielder Brock Hebert earning him Athlete of the Week from  
During the top of the third inning Hebert caught a pop fly and converted it into a double play with the assistance of senior left fielder Jonathan Pace, who was covering first base. Hebert went 2-4 at the plate, scoring 2 runs and batted in another run.
At the bottom of the third inning Pace hit a single and loaded the bases. With the bases loaded senior outfielder Cody Gougler hit a single and brought senior left fielder Michael Rutland home. During the same play, Hebert saw his chance and stole home scoring the fourth run of the game.
“We preach looking for that open base. It’s not just one person,” said Hebert. “A lot of people have been stepping up. When we do that, we do real good.”
By the fourth inning the Lions had scored five runs.  The Bulldogs managed their lone run of the game during the second inning.
The Lions used skilled pitching from a host of players. Junior right-hander Kaleb Manuel played an important role in keeping the Bulldogs from scoring. Junior left-hander Buck Bernard replaced Manuel during the third inning and continued pitching through to the seventh inning until being relieved by sophomore left-hander Matt Pittari. Manuel pitched 4.1 innings and tallied 4 strike outs.
Despite his successful game, Manuel humbly gave all the credit to Artigues.
“I just did what the coach called and he did a great job. I’ve found a lot of improvement in my arm and everything,” said Manuel. “The defense did a lot of good plays today. Coach Artigues has done a great job.”
The Lions will return to action on Wednesday for a home game against Jackson State at 6 p.m.