From SLU Athletics
HAMMOND, La. – Sophomore Kyle Cedotal came up big for Southeastern Louisiana in the first Southland Conference starting assignment of his career, pitching the Lions past conference-leading Nicholls State, 4-2, Friday at Pat Kenelly Diamond at Alumni Field.
Southeastern (28-19, 13-9 Southland) was looking for a spark as it attempted to snap a season-high, six-game losing streak. Cedotal provided it in the form of a career-high 7.2 innings pitched, keeping Nicholls (25-22, 15-7 Southland) off balance the majority of the night.
After working out of a two-on, no-out jam in the first inning, the Lions staked Cedotal to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the inning.
Consecutive singles by Jacob Seward, Jameson Fisher and Andrew Godbold gave Southeastern a 1-0 lead. Godbold, who was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double, picked up his first of two RBIs in the game. He also finished with a 3-for-4 night at the plate.
Sam Roberson followed Godbold's hit with a sacrifice fly to right field, driving in Fisher to complete the first-inning scoring.
The Lions expanded their lead with two more runs in the third off Colonel starting pitcher Taylor Byrd, the Southland's ERA leader (1.54) coming into the contest.
Byrd hit Jacob Williams with a pitch to open the inning. After Seward sacrificed Williams to second, he reached third on Jameson Fisher's single up the middle. Godbold drove Williams in with an infield single up the first-base line. Roberson reached then on catcher's interference. Nicholls guessed correctly on a Lion hit and run, but Roberson's swing clipped the catcher's glove on the pitch-out attempt.
Southeastern's final run of the inning, and game, scored on a suicide squeeze. After Roberson reached to load the bases, the Lions put all three runners in motion as Daniel Midyett laid down a bunt back to the mound. Fisher scored easily, but Godbold almost scored from second as Byrd hesitated on his throw to first. Finally realizing Godbold was still running, he threw home just in time for catcher Christian Correa to apply the tag.
Cedotal retired the first two batters in the fourth before the Colonels struck for their two runs. Correa singled through the left side, his second hit of the game, and moved up when Cedotal walked Tyler Duplantis. Charles Morton lofted a fly ball down the line that kicked off the glove of left fielder Gabe Woods, dropping for a two-run, two base error. Cedotal rebounded to strikeout the next batter.
Working into the eighth, Cedotal (3-2) allowed two unearned runs on six hits and a pair of walks. The native of Denham Springs, Louisiana, fanned three en route to earning the win. Dylan Hills, the Lions' career leader in appearances, worked the final 1.1 innings to earn his fourth save of the season. He nailed down the game by fanning the side in the ninth. Byrd (7-3) suffered the loss.
The Lions posted 10 hits, marking the third-straight game they've recorded double-figure hits. Godbold, Fisher and Seward all turned in multi-hit performances. Woods, Williams and Brett Hoffman had Southeastern's other three hits.
With a pair of RBIs Godbold now has 42 on the season, surpassing Stephen F. Austin's Mackenzie Handel to become the Southland's RBI leader.
Southeastern is tied with Lamar and Northwestern State for fifth place in the conference standings, two games out of first place.
Saturday, the Lions will send sophomore right-hander Tate Scioneaux (6-4, 3.27) to the mound against Nicholls' sophomore lefty Grant Borne (6-2, 3.06). Nicholls will host Saturday's contest at Ray E. Didier Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The game can be heard in the Hammond area on KSLU 90.9 FM, online and either the KSLU or TuneIn Radio smartphone apps. Fans can keep up with the contest through live statistics or by following SLUathletics on Twitter. Streaming video is available on LionVision, Southeastern's subscription-based video stream. Links for audio, stats and video are available on the baseball schedule page at www.LionSports.net.