NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Nicholls State let a 3-0 lead over Stephen F. Austin slip away in the bottom of the ninth, but the Colonels used a safety squeeze in the 11th to take the lead before adding an insurance run to knock off the Lumberjacks 5-3 Saturday at Jaycees Field.
The win also clinched a berth in the Southland Conference tournament, ending the Colonels’ two-year drought.
Nicholls improved to 28-24 and 17-9 in conference play, keeping the Colonels in contention for the Southland Conference regular season title. SFA dropped to 18-31 and 9-17.
The Colonels led 3-0 after 8.5 nnings. Christian Correa was responsible for the first run, driving in Leo Vargas in the fourth on a sacrifice fly. Pinch hitter Justin Smith drove in a run in the eighth, and Correa came home in the ninth on a wild pitch.
Grant Borne, who surrendered three hits in the first eight innings, ran into trouble in the ninth as SFA tagged him for four hits to score a run.
Marc Frazier (1-0) allowed a sacrifice fly which made the score 3-2 with two outs. Dan O’Neill tied the game with a hit up the middle, but Vargas kept the ball from going to the outfield and threw out the SFA runner at the plate to send the game into extra innings.
Borne allowed seven hits in 8.1 innings, striking out five while walking four.
SFA’s Kevin Bishop threw 7.1 innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits.
Ricardo Sanchez led SFA with two hits.
SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA 13, McNEESE STATE 3: In Lake Charles, Southeastern Louisiana sent 13 batters to the plate in a seven-run third inning on its way to a run-rule victory over McNeese State at Cowboy Diamond.
With the victory, Southeastern (31-21, 16-10 Southland) tied McNeese (27-23, 16-10 Southland) for fifth in the conference standings.
Southeastern posted 15 hits — the eighth straight game in which the Lions have recorded double-digit hits.
Brett Hoffman picked up a career-high four hits (4-for-5) and tied a career best with four RBIs. Daniel Midyett had three hits, while Andrew Godbold (2-for-4) and Kennon Menard (2-for-3) also recorded multi-hit games.
Andro Cutura (9-2) earned the win for the Lions, tossing four innings, and Sean Kennel earned his first save of the season, working the final three.
Michael Clemens (4-3) was saddled with the loss, allowing eight runs (four earned) in 2.2 innings.
NORTHWESTERN STATE 6, UNO 5, 10 INNINGS: In Natchitoches, Edwin Gomez poked a single into right field with the bases loaded and two outs in the 10th inning, to knock in the winning run.
The win gave Northwestern State (29-21, 17-9) its eighth series win in nine played, and put it in a tie with Nicholls for third place in the league standings.
With the game tied at 3 in the 10th, UNO (11-34, 2-24 SLC) scored on a two-run single to right field from Mitchell Alexander that scored Hezekiah Randolph and Andre Damiens. Randolph scored on a single, and Damiens made it on an error.
Brandon Smith (2-2) got the win, allowing five hits and two unearned runs in two innings.
Seth Laigast (2-3) took the loss, allowing three runs on two hits and a walk in an inning.