ENID, Ok – If it could go bad, it did for LSU Eunice baseball. The Bengals dug themselves a six-run hole in the first two innings and it was too much to bear as LSUE fell 9-4 to Western Oklahoma State in the NJCAA Division II Championship Series opener at David Allen Memorial Ballpark on Thursday.
The Pioneers used an error and two walks to score five runs in the opening inning, four coming with two outs. Western pieced together three consecutive run producing hits in a row before Noah Beason (Lufkin, TX, Huntington HS) was able to get out of the jam.
The lead grew to 6-0 an inning later on a sacrifice ground out.
LSUE would try to starting chipping away in the third inning after Jack Merrifield (Prairieville, LA, Dutchtown HS) doubled home Brady Hebert (Baton Rouge, LA, Catholic-Baton Rouge HS) but the Pioneers would punch back in the fourth with two more runs.
The Bengals would have a chance to make a run back into with Jase McDonald (Denham Springs, LA, Denham Springs HS) holding the Pioneers at bay. McDonald tossed 3.1 innings of scoreless relief, giving up just three hits with a walk and four punch outs.
It seemed like the eighth inning could be an opportunity for some late game Bengal magic. LSUE threatened with two runners on and one out but a sacrifice fly and strikeout later in the frame squashed the rally attempt.
Brady Hebert’s sacrifice fly in the ninth was the last run of the game as the Bengals were able to get the leadoff man aboard that inning for just the third time in the game.
Game two of the best-of-three series is set for Friday at 7:00PM.