THIBODAUX, La. -- Jacob Stockton was the offensive catalyst for ULM as he finished with four hits in five at-bats including two doubles and three runs scored as the Warhawks defeated Western Illinois, 6-2, Thursday afternoon at Ray E. Didier Field.
Strong pitching was also a key for ULM as Chad Miller and Carey Taylor combined to allow just four hits and two unearned runs in nine combined innings of work. Miller (1-0) earned the win, his first of the season, while Taylor earned his first save of 2014.
With one out in the top of the third, Josh Faciane was given a free pass as he was hit by a pitch. Faciane moved into scoring position on a Dalton Herrington single through the right side. Jeff Fuller followed and reached on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error by third baseman Tanner Glore allowed Herrington to reach second. On the error, Faciane was able to score (unearned) while Herrington moved to third.
An inning later the Warhawks again added a single run to push their lead to 2-0. Jacob Stockton led off the fourth with a single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kodie Tidwell. Chet Simoneaux followed and gave ULM runners at the corners with a single to the gap in right center. Stockton was able to score the second run of the game as he scored on an infield RBI single by Ross Moore. Later in the inning, Herrington was able to reach base after being hit by a pitch in an 11-pitch at bat, but three Warhawks were left stranded as a fly ball by Fuller was tracked down in left center.
In the fifth, ULM was able to double its lead as it added two runs with two outs in the inning. Stockton and pinch hitter Anthony Herrera tallied back-to-back singles. After a pitching change, the Warhawks put two runners in scoring position thanks to a wild pitch by reliever Nick Smith. Simoneaux followed and drew a walk and another wild pitch by Smith allowed Stockton to score and Herrera to move to third. Herrera scored to make it 4-0 ULM as he trotted home on a balk by Smith.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Western Illinois ended Miller’s bid for a no-hitter as Matt Risdon singled up the middle and gave the Leathernecks runners on the corners. Nathan Pollock followed and reached on a fielding error at short stop and the error allowed Chris Tschida to score (unearned) and cut the deficit to three runs (4-1).
Simoneaux blasted his first career homer in the top of the ninth inning as his two-run homer game ULM a 6-1 lead.
Western Illinois plated the final run of the game in the bottom of the ninth to set the final tally at 6-2.
Aside from Stockton’s strong night, Simoneaux finished with two hits, two RBI and one run and Moore finished with three hits and one RBI.
Leatherneck starting pitcher Aaron Michel (0-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits with five strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work.
ULM will face Nicholls State for the first time since a three-game series during the 2012 season as the two Louisiana schools will square off Friday night at 6:30 p.m. The Warhawks lead the all-time series with their former Southland Conference rival, 71-50.
Lefty Alex Dumaine (Sr., 1-0, 1.50 ERA) will get the start for ULM and Nicholls State will counter with southpaw Taylor Byrd (Sr., 0-1, 1.80 ERA).
For updates throughout the season on the ULM baseball team, be sure to follow the squad on twitter @ULM_BSB.
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