The 7th ranked LSU Shreveport Pilots (31-9, 13-1 Red River Athletic Conference) turned a triple play in game one of Friday's tripled header aiding the Pilots to a 6-2 victory before thumping the Texas College Steers (17-25, 6-8 RRAC) 9-3 in game two to complete the doubleheader sweep in RRAC play.
"Congrats to our guys for how they played the game today. I enjoyed watching their approach at the plate, and 1-9 in the lineup I thought we were competitive in the box. It's not every day you get to see a 5-4-3 triple play that was exciting and very well done by our infield," said LSUS head Coach Al Cantwell.
Today the Pilots collected a total of 26 hits in the doubleheader with seven different Pilots collecting more than two hits including three that had four hits on the day as Connor McMullin went 4-for-7 at the plate while William Breland and Brandon Bufton were both 4-for-8 while all three drove in two runs.
GAME 1 (W, 6-2)
The play of the day could perhaps be the play of the year as the Pilots were leading 6-0 in the bottom of the 5th inning of the 7-inning contest but the Steers were gaining some momentum as the first two hitters reached off LSUS Cam Ellis, who had not allowed a hit until now. The first batter walked on four straight pitches and the next broke up the no-hitter with a single to center. Pilots' pitching coach Brent Lavallee then went to the pen to bring in the right hander George Bliss who would only need one pitch to get out of the jam of runners at first and second with no outs.
Bliss' first pitch was chopped to third baseman William Breland who started a not so common play. Breland grabbed the chopper, stepped on the bag for out number one and then fired to Connor McMullin who recorded the second out and his throw to first baseman Jared Vial was right on the money as the Pilots recorded the around-the-horn triple play to end the Texas College threat as the score remained 6-0 LSUS after five innings.
The Pilots started their scoring in the top of the third inning as Kade Billeaudeaux and Breland singled followed by a Reed Lavallee walk to load the bases for Brenden Meade who ripped a single to center to score two and then the third run came on as the ball got by the Steer's center fielder. Ridge Gonsoulin added another run with a sac-fly scoring Meade for an early 4-0 lead.
McMullin laced his first of two doubles in the game to lead off fourth inning and later scored on Breland's bunt single. Brandon Bufton ripped an rbi-double in the next inning scoring Gonsoulin to extend the LSUS' lead to 6-0.
Texas College scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning but that was it as Michael Wilson came in and allowed just one runner in the 7th to close out the game.
LSUS starter Ellis (3-0) picked up the win working four solid innings allowing only one hit while walking two and striking out one batter. "Cam Ellis did a great job today on the mound for us, he gave us what we needed and we look forward to more outings out of him like he gave us today," commented Coach Cantwell.
GAME 2 (W, 9-3)
The second game of the day was not as close as game one as the Pilots controlled things when they started their scoring in the second inning on a rbi-double by Parker Hebert that scored Jared Vial who singled the at bat before. Bufton brought in a run with a single in the third as the Pilots led 2-0 after three innings.
The fourth inning was the "big inning" for the Pilots offensively as they tallied three runs, the first run came on an rbi-single by Gonsoulin and then McMullin brought in a pair with a single to center to extend the LSUS' lead to 6-0. The Pilots added two more runs in the fifth with David Dorton and Vial each collecting rbi-singles for 7-0 LSUS advantage.
Dorton drove in another run in the sixth with a single and Breland's rbi-single in the ninth added the final run of the day for the Pilots.
Dustin Doucette (3-1) picked up the win for the Pilots tossing six strong innings while allowing one run on five hits, three walks and four strikeouts. Trent Cormier (2) picked up the three-inning save working the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings allowing just one earned run working around five hits and one walk.
"It was good to see Doucette contribute another quality start like we know he is capable of," added Coach Cantwell.
After an error-free ballgame in game one the Pilots made three in the second game, two on one play. "With the exception of two plays today, I thought our defensive effort was very good. We feel good about tomorrow with Jonathan Burnett throwing game one, it should be another exciting day for Pilots' baseball," ended Cantwell.
The Pilots and Steers will meet again tomorrow at 1 p.m. as they wrap up the series with another doubleheader at Texas College Field.