NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Nicholls starter Seth Webster needed just 96 pitches to toss a complete game on Friday as the Colonels picked up their first league win of the year and snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 6-2 win over SFA on at Jaycees Field.
SFA (16-7, 6-1 SLC) had won its last eight games at home before Friday's loss, and with two wins over the Colonels (8-12, 1-6 SLC) in the final games of the series can still get its fifth consecutive series win over Nicholls.
Webster, who entered the weekend ranked fourth in the Southland in ERA, lowered that mark to 1.85 on the season in picking up his first win of the year. He struck out six and walked just one batter on the day, and got plenty of defensive help with the Colonel infield turning a pair of double plays and the outfield going over the fence to rob not one, but two SFA home runs on the day.
Nicholls finished with 13 hits on the day, to just six for the ‘Jacks, with Bear Comer and Blake Bergeron leading the way with three hits apiece. Freshman shortstop Hunter Dozier was the only Lumberjack with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with his first career home run in the fifth inning.
Tyler Herriage was far from sharp, but still turned in a quality start by allowing three runs over six innings in seeing his record fall to 1-2. The Colonels also got to the SFA bullpen, pushing across three insurance runs in the final two innings.
Each of the first four Colonel runs came after the leadoff hitter reached base, including in the first inning when Nicholls took a 1-0 lead on a bloop double to center field by Bergeron, scoring Comer who had reached on a leadoff bloop single of his own.
The ‘Jacks answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning when Bryson Myles bunted his way on and moved to third on an error and a sacrifice bunt from Chris Hernandez. One batter later, Darren Crabtree brought him in with a sacrifice fly to right to knot it up.
But the tie did not last long as Michael LeGrange tripled on the first pitch of the second inning and scored two batters later on a squeeze bunt from Jason Dennis to put Nicholls up for good in just the second inning.
They bumped the lead up to 3-1 off of Herriage in the fifth as nine-hole hitter Austin Flores led off with a double into the left-center gap and scored two batters later on a double play off the bat of Chase Jaramillo.
Dozier finally got SFA back on the board in the bottom of the fifth, launching a 1-0 pitch over the left-field fence for his first career homer with two down to trim the lead to 3-2; however, a sign that it wasn't SFA's day came one batter later when LeGrange leapt over the fence to rob Michael Haynes of what would have been a game-tying homer.
In the eighth, Alex Moshier came in from the pen to minimize what could have been a breakout inning for Nicholls. He entered with the bases loaded and none out and needed just two pitches to get out of the frame, coaxing a ground-ball double play and a grounder to second to end it, and letting just one run come across to build the lead to 4-2.
But after getting the first two outs of the ninth, a four-pitch walk to Comer started a rally that gave Nicholls two more insurance runs as Bergeron delivered a two-out base hit to left that plated the final two Colonel runs of the day.
Webster then finished things off with a perfect ninth, needing just five pitches and a home-run saving grab in right field from Scott Moseley to rob Crabtree of his third homer of the year, to earn his first win of the season.
SFA and Nicholls square off again on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. with Jared West slated to go up against Brian Arceneaux.