Aulds Spins Game One Gem; Warhawks Split Doubleheader with Middle Tennessee
MONROE, La. - A monstrous 11-run sixth inning and a complete game shutout by Shelby Aulds led the ULM baseball team to a 13-0 victory over Middle Tennessee in game one of a Sun Belt Conference doubleheader Saturday at Warhawk Field.
The Warhawks (18-20, 6-10 SBC) were just one run from equaling a program-high 12 runs scored in a single inning during the sixth frame, accomplished May 20, 2005 against Southeastern Louisiana and March 10, 1986 against Mississippi College. ULM's 13 total runs and 17 hits both tied season-bests.
Aulds (3-1) needed just 102 pitches to throw the shutout in his second career collegiate start. He allowed six hits (all singles), walked none and struck out five Middle Tennessee (22-17, 9-7) hitters.
Les Aulds pulled a one-out double into right field off Middle Tennessee starter Hunter Adkins (5-4) in the bottom of the second inning. After Jeremy Sy drew a five-pitch walk, Joey Rapp laced a 2-0 offering back up the middle for an RBI single, scoring Aulds from first base to give ULM a 1-0 lead.
Shelby Aulds retired the first 10 batters he faced before Justin Guidry line a one-out single to left center field in the top of the fourth inning. The Warhawk right-hander responded by forcing Johnny Thomas to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play to end the frame.
Aulds hung the fifth straight zero in the Blue Raider column in the top of the fifth, retiring the side in order on just eight pitches. Trent Miller grounded out to the mound, Hank LaRue was put out at first base Rapp to Aulds and Ethan Williams struck out swinging.
The Warhawks added a run in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Rapp grooved a single back up the middle to plate Caleb Clowers (2-0).
Logan Fiasco ripped a full-count pitch from Adkins up the middle to bring Brandon Alexander in from second and push the ULM advantage to 3-0 to start the scoring surge in the bottom of the sixth. Les Aulds reached after a five-pitch walk against reliever Cody Tollison to load the bases with one out. Clowers responded by dropping a bloop single into left field to extend the cushion to 4-0. A wild pitch from Middle Tennessee pitcher Wes Robinson found its way to the backstop to score the Warhawks' fifth run of the game (5-0). Timely hitting allowed ULM to push eight additional runs across in the frame to take a 13-0 lead.
Les Aulds and Rapp each led ULM with three base hits, with Aulds adding two runs batted in and two runs scored and Rapp three RBIs of his own. Clowers, Alexander and Corben Green also chipped in two hits apiece for the Warhawks.
A fast start and steady pitching from Johnathan Frebis allowed Middle Tennessee to claim the nightcap over ULM 3-2 and even the three-game series at 1-1.
ULM (18-21, 6-11 SBC) clawed back from a
two-run deficit in the bottom of the eighth inning, as a two-out single to
right field by Jeremy Sy scored Les Aulds to trim the deficit to 3-2 and chase
Frebis (4-2) from the contest. Reliever
Daniel Palo forced Joey Rapp to fly out to right field to end the inning and strand
Sy on base.
ULM pitcher Wil Browning sat the Blue Raiders down 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth inning, giving the Warhawks life in the home half of the final frame. Caleb Clowers lined a one-out base knock into right field to kick start the rally. Palo retired Judd Edwards on a fly out and Justin Stawychny striking out to end the ball game.
Middle Tennessee (23-17, 10-7 SBC) struck quickly in the top of the first inning of game two, as leadoff man Ryan Ford ripped a triple into the gap in right center off ULM starter Randy Zeigler (4-5). A Justin Guidry sacrifice fly plated Ford to give the Blue Raiders a 1-0 lead. Zeigler weathered the charge by striking out Johnny Thomas and forcing Trent Miller to fly out to Stawychny in right field.
The Warhawks loaded the bases in the bottom half of the first inning. Aulds led off with an infield single and then moved to second base on an error by Miller in right field. Rapp drew a full-count walk against Frebis with no outs to give Taylor Abdalla an opportunity with the bags full. A sacrifice fly to center field scored Aulds and tied the game 1-1.
A Thomas double into the right field corner in the top of the fourth inning scored Guidry from second base to pull Middle Tennessee back on top 2-1. Zeigler retired the next three Blue Raiders in order to strand Thomas at second.
Zeigler held Middle Tennessee at bay in the top of the sixth inning, striking out Thomas looking on a 1-2 pitch and forcing consecutive fly ball outs off the bats of Miller and Ethan Williams to keep ULM within one run (2-1).
Pinch hitter Robert Lawrence slugged a 1-2 Zeigler offering deep into right field in the top of the seventh inning, scoring Jordan Rorex from third base on the sacrifice fly to extend the Middle Tennessee lead to 3-1.
Aulds logged his second multi-hit effort of the day, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base for ULM. Sy added a pair of singles and an RBI.
Zeigler took the hard luck loss, allowing three runs on three hits, striking out eight in eight full innings of work.
Frebis allowed two runs (one earned), walked two and struck out five Warhawk batters in 7.2 innings pitched.
The two teams meet in the rubber match Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. at Warhawk Field.