THIBODAUX, La. – Tyler Herriage threw eight strong innings and the SFA bats came alive for a seven-run fourth inning that was enough to propel the ‘Jacks to a 9-2 win over Nicholls in the series opener on Friday at Ray E. Didier Field.
Herriage got in early trouble, allowing all six of his hits and both of his runs in the first two innings. But from there on out he was stellar, setting down a career-high nine hitters on strikes and setting down 19 of the final 21 Colonels he faced while not allowing a hit in his last six innings of work for his fourth win of the year.
The ‘Jacks (14-6, 5-1 Southland) got plenty of offense as well, but it took until the fourth frame for SFA to get to Nicholls (12-9, 3-4 Southland) starter Jarrett Dunnam, who ended up taking his second loss of the season. Riley Huble finished with a career-best three hits, going 3-for-3 and reaching base all five times he came to the plate. Garrett Smith added a pair of doubles and two RBI as the only other ‘Jack with multiple hits, but eight of nine SFA starters finished with at least one hit.
Nicholls got a pair of runs in the second as three straight singles, two of which were of the bunt variety by Tristan Rogers and Ray Eureste, loaded the bases with nobody out. Kevin Schlegel then delivered a bloop single that scored a run, but also recorded the first out of the inning as Smith relayed to Michael Haynes who hit Huble at the plate to get Rogers at the plate. Bear Comer then added another RBI single two batters later, but Herriage managed to get Keith Kulbeth out on strikes three hitters later to leave them loaded in what would be the Colonels' last meaningful threat of the evening.
Meanwhile, Dunnam was cruising for Nicholls as he set down nine of the first 10 hitters he faced before the ‘Jacks sent 11 hitters to the plate in the top of the fourth, plating seven runs on just six hits. It took just two pitches for the ‘Jacks to tie it up at two apiece as Dunnam hit Tanner Hines to lead off the inning and Darren Crabtree then hit the first pitch he saw over the right field wall for his fourth homer of the year. Bobby Loveless and Jarid Scarafiotti then each managed to get on base to set up Bo Coffman, who lifted an 0-2 pitch out to left field for a three-run bomb that gave SFA a 5-2 lead that it would not give back.
SFA added two more in the inning on RBI hits from Smith and Hines, and that was more than enough for Herriage as he put things on cruise control through the eighth inning.
Huble added an RBI single in the fifth that made it 8-2, and Smith picked up his second RBI hit on a long double in the eighth that actually scored Huble to plate the ninth and final run of the night for the ‘Jacks.
Alex Moshier came on to pitch around a pair of errors in the ninth in just his second appearance of the year, striking out one and keeping Nicholls off the scoreboard.
The ‘Jacks and Colonels collide again on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in the middle game of the series. Justin Braddock will go for SFA in the matinee against Colonel lefty Clint Dempster.