THIBODAUX, La. – With two outs in the bottom of the 11th, Jeff Fuller drove in Justin Stawychny with a RBI single up the middle to give ULM a 6-5 win over Western Illinois Saturday afternoon at Ray E. Didier Field.
Western Illinois plated the first run of the game in the top of the first inning. Zack Burling reached thanks to a fielding error at shortstop and then moved to third on back-to-back groundouts. Burling scored from third on a wild pitch by Chris Hunt to put the Leathernecks in front, 1-0.
After stranding five runners through the first third of the game, the Warhawks were able to break through with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Justin Stawychny was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and then was able to score all the way from first on a Jeff Fuller RBI double down the left field line. Fuller moved to third on a groundout by Cody Stone and crossed home to put ULM ahead, 2-1, on Dalton Herrington’s RBI double down the right field line.
ULM again pushed two runs across in an inning as the Warhawks plated two in the bottom of the fifth to increase lead to three runs. Keelin Rasch drew a walk to lead off the inning and Chet Simoneaux put two runners in scoring position with a double to right field. Kodie Tidwell followed and collected a RBI single to center. With Tidwell on first and Simoneaux on third, Stawychny delivered a sacrifice fly to center allowing Simoneaux to score and put ULM ahead, 4-1.
The Warhawks scored for the third straight inning as they pushed one run across in the sixth. With one out and Herrington standing on third, Rasch drove in Herrington as he reached on a fielding error at second base to give ULM a 5-1 lead.
In the top of the eighth, Zach Burling led off with a walk and was able to eventually come around to score (unearned) to trim the ULM lead to three runs (5-2).
In the top of the ninth, Western Illinois scored three runs (two earned) to even the contest and eventually send the game into extra innings.
ULM started its rally with two outs in the 11th inning. Stawychny was hit by a pitch and stole second and Vincent Dellocono drew a walk before Fuller’s game-winning hit.
Tyler Bray (1-0) earned the win in relief after surrendering just three hits in three innings of work. The senior also struck out two batters.
The loss was tagged to Nick Smith (0-1) as he allowed the game-winning hit and run to score.
ULM will close out the Carmel Inn Showdown tomorrow with a noon contest against Southern Illinois. Alex Hermeling is slated to get the start for the Warhawks and the redshirt-sophomore is 0-0 on the season with a 0.00 ERA in six innings of work (against Grand Canyon, Feb. 16).
For updates throughout the season on the ULM baseball team, be sure to follow the squad on twitter @ULM_BSB.
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