EUNICE, La. – If today’s Region 23 opener for LSU Eunice Baseball was any indication, it will be another wild ride on the Cajun Prairie this week.  The Bengals (50-3) rallied from an early four-run hole and used a passed ball to walk-off in thrilling fashion for a 7-6 victory over Northeast Mississippi CC.
Reuben Williams (Prairieville, LA, Dutchtown HS) provided the fireworks in the seventh inning as the freshman would race around the basepaths in a pinch run opportunity.  Williams would steal second and third base before sending his teammates into a celebration behind home plate as he scored off a Tigers’ passed ball.
The come from behind victory would wash away an uncharacteristic five-error game defensively for LSU Eunice.  The Bengals found themselves trailing 4-0 after NEMCC first three at-bats as the Tigers used five free passes and three errors while managing just two hits in that span.
LSUE would turn to small ball to get back into the game offensive as Dawson Willis (Ruston, LA, Ruston HS) and Korey Cooper (Dickinson, TX, Dickinson HS) produce RBIs off bunts sandwiched between an RBI single by Zachary Thomas (Jesup, GA, Wayne County HS) to help LSUE claw back 4-3.
The Bengals weren’t out of the woods just yet as Northeast Mississippi responded with a solo home run in the fourth.  Grant Mangrum (Sterlington, LA, Sterlington HS) answered right back with an RBI double, one of three hits on the day for the sophomore.  The back-and-forth continued an inning later as NEMCC manufactured its last run of the game with a sacrifice ground out.
Parker Coley (Sterlington, LA, Sterlington HS) led off a critical seventh inning for LSUE with a standup double to begin the frame.  He would score two batters later as Korey Cooper bounced one through the hole in right field to cut the deficit to 6-4.  Evan Joubert (Lake Charles, LA, St. Louis Catholic HS) tied it later in the inning as he put the ball in play and forced one of two Northeast Mississippi errors.
It would stay tied thanks to a pair of strong relief efforts by Brandon Brewer (Sterlington, LA, Sterlington HS) and Aiden Vosburg (Jarreau, LA, Catholic-Pointe Coupee HS).  Brewer sat down the side in order in the seventh before leaving way for Vosburg in the eighth.  Vosburg worked out of a bases loaded jam with a strikeout and grounder.   He would pick up his eighth win of the year after sitting down the side in order in the ninth.
Williams came in to pinch run for Zachary Thomas, who worked a lead off walk to begin the ninth inning.
Offensively, LSUE outhit Northeast Mississippi 12-6 as both Cooper and Mangrum produced three-hit games.  Dawson Willis and Evan Joubert also had multi-hit games.
The win sets up a winner’s bracket matchup with Pearl River CC tomorrow at 3:30PM.  The Bengals and Wildcats have won the last two NJCAA Division II National Championships and have met the last three years in the Region 23 Tournament Championship.
The Bengals also eclipsed the 50-win mark fifth time in the last eight years and the 12th time under Jeff Willis.