NATCHITOCHES, La. – A back-and-forth battle throughout the night, Northwestern State walked off with a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to hand the ULM baseball team a 5-4 loss on Wednesday night to cap the teams’ home-and-home weekend series.
FINAL SCORE: Northwestern State 5, ULM 4
Location: Brown-Stroud Field / Natchitoches, La.
Teams: ULM (9-22, 4-5 SBC)
Northwestern State (10-18, 3-6 SLC)
-Tied at 4-4 going into the ninth, Anthony Herrera come on for ULM and struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth before Regan Kaufman squared up the first pitch of his at-bat and sent it over the right-center field wall to give the Demons the walkoff win.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-ULM took the early lead with single runs in the second, third and fourth frames, beginning in the second when Chad Bell doubled and later scored on Tyler Cox’s RBI groundout before Gino Marucci’s RBI single in the third inning plated Brady McGehee, who singled to open the inning.
-After Northwestern cut into the Warhawk lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the third, ULM upped the advantage to 3-1 in the top of the fourth on McGehee’s two-out RBI single that brought home Cox, who doubled earlier in the frame.
-The hosts tied the game on a single swing in the bottom of the fourth via Tyler Smith’s two-run homer, which was promptly answered by ULM in the top of the fifth when Francis singled and scored on Chad Bell’s RBI single.
-Northwestern again used the long ball to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth, this time a solo homer by Matthew Alford to lead off the frame, knotting things up at 4-4 and set up the ninth.
-ULM finished with 13 total hits and outhit Northwestern, who finished with eight total hits. Francis led the offense with a 3-for-5 night with his run scored, while Bell, Cox, Herrera and McGehee all had two hits in the loss.
-Herrera was saddled with the loss, falling to 1-2 on the season as the fifth Warhawk arm to throw on the night. Starter Derek Martin tossed the first three innings, allowing one run on two hits with two strikeouts in his first appearance of the season, while Chase Cater also had two strikeouts in his two innings of work.
-Kaufman and Hunter Uzzle each had two hits for four of Northwestern’s eight total hits.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
-Martin’s start Wednesday was just his second career appearance as a Warhawk, as the senior transfer made his return from Tommy John surgery and threw 27 strikes in his 45 total pitches.
-Herrera made his 30th start of the season, but just his third start of the year at second base….McGehee made his fourth start of the season, all at shortstop, as he appeared in his 15th game overall…Marucci made his first start and tallied his first hit as a Warhawk.
-The Warhawks step back into Sun Belt Conference play this weekend when they host South Alabama in a three-game series beginning Friday night at 6:00 p.m. before a late afternoon Saturday start (4:00 p.m.) and a 1:00 p.m. series finale on Sunday.
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