From SLU Athletics
NATCHITOCHES, La. – The Southeastern Louisiana University baseball team fought off a scrappy Northwestern State club Friday for a 3-2 win in the Southland Conference opener for both schools.
Southeastern (16-7, 1-0 Southland) rode the strong pitching of Sean Kennel (4-0) and Mason Klotz to pick up its fifth win in the last six games.
The Lions jumped on top with a pair of second-inning runs. Jameson Fisher and Jesse Buratt opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Sam Roberson dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move both into scoring position before Brett Hoffman drew a one-out walk to load the bases.
With two outs, Ladd Rhodes drew a bases-loaded walk from Demon starting pitcher Robert Baker (2-2) to force in Fisher with the game's first run. Ben Hernandez followed with his second hit of the game to drive in Buratt for a 2-0 lead.
Northwestern State (9-15, 0-1 Southland) pushed across a pair of fifth-inning runs off Kennel. The Demons strung together four-consecutive, two-out hits, including a pair of doubles, to tie the game.
Southeastern immediately answered with a run in the sixth to regain the lead. Harry Slade led off the inning with a double inside the left-field line and was sacrificed to third by Aaron Haag. Fisher followed with the second of his three hits in the game to drive home Slade with the eventual winning run.
Kennel earned the win, allowing a pair of earned runs in 6.2 innings of work, while Klotz worked the final 2.1 innings, without allowing a run, to earn his second save of the season. Baker was tagged with the loss. Northwestern State has now dropped seven in a row.
The Demons will send left-hander Andrew Adams (0-2, 4.19) to the mound in the middle game of the series and the Lions will counter with freshman right-hander Tate Scioneaux (3-0, 2.32).
First pitch for Saturday's game has been moved up to noon. The game can be heard in the Hammond area on KSLU-FM (90.9), on the internet through the Southeastern athletics website as well as on the KSLU iPhone and TuneIn Radio apps. Live stats, courtesy Northwestern State, will also be available. Links to audio and stats are located on the baseball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.