MONROE, La. - Randy Zeigler shined in his seven innings of work and the offense provided timely run support for the ULM baseball team in a 2-0 win over Sam Houston State in game one of a three-game non-conference series Friday night at Warhawk Field.
Zeigler (1-1) allowed three hits, walking only one batter and striking out eight to power the Warhawk pitching staff. Wil Browning tossed a scoreless ninth inning to earn his second save in as many chances. The win was the fifth straight for the Warhawks, giving the team its best start to begin a campaign since it opened with a 6-1 mark in 2009.
ULM (5-1) stole a season-high six bases and drew seven walks off Bearkat pitching. Warhawk pitchers allowed a season-low four base hits and struck out 10 Sam Houston State hitters.
Ryan O'Hearn singled off ULM's Kendall Thamm before stealing second to lead off the eighth inning and kick start the Bearkat offense. Thamm responded by striking out Corey Toups on a 3-2 offering and forcing Colt Atwood and Greg Olson to ground out to third base and shortstop respectively, halting the Sam Houston State (3-2) momentum. Browning retired the side in the ninth on just 10 pitches to close out the victory.
Judd Edwards drew a full count walk against Sam Houston State reliever Michael Oros and stole second to move into scoring position in the bottom half of the seventh inning. Edwards then reached third on a balk by Oros and scored on Toups' second error of the game to extend the Warhawk cushion to two runs (2-0).
Zeigler polished off his third consecutive 1-2-3 inning as part of a scoreless top of the seventh frame. The junior left-hander did not allow a single hit over his final 5.1 innings pitched.
Jeremy Sy reached on an error by the shortstop Toups to open the bottom of the fifth inning, moved over to second on a stolen base and reached third on a groundout by Les Aulds. Caleb Clowers was retired after hitting a sharp shot on the ground to Toups, but not before Sy scored the game's first run and gave the Warhawks a 1-0 lead.
Aulds paced ULM with a hit and two stolen bases. Edwards reached base in all of his plate appearances after drawing a career-high four walks. Clowers added the Warhawks' only RBI of the evening along with his third and four steals of the season.
O'Hearn led Sam Houston State with two hits, while Jessie Plumlee and John Hale each chipped in a base knock. Starting pitcher Cody Dickson (0-1) allowed one hit in 5.2 innings, walking four and striking out eight to take the loss.
The series resumes Saturday at 6 p.m. at Warhawk Field. Alex Hermeling (1-0) is scheduled to start for ULM against Sam Houston State's Justin Jackson (1-0). The game can be heard live worldwide at ulmwarhawks.com.