EUNICE — Ben Braymer provided LSU-Eunice with the necessary stamina and resilience the Bengals needed to remain in command of the Region 23 Division II baseball tournament Friday night.
Braymer threw 127 pitches and went seven innings as No. 2 LSUE defeated No. 1 Hinds County Community College 10-6 at Bengals Stadium.
The performance by Braymer helped allowed the Bengals (43-9) to emerge as the tournament’s only undefeated team following two nights and four games.
LSUE will play again Saturday at 7 p.m. The Bengals will have to lose twice to be eliminated from the tournament.
Hinds’ loss sends the Eagles (42-6) into a 3 p.m. elimination game Saturday against Northwest Mississippi Community College (33-16).
NWMCC beat East Mississippi Community College 4-3 in an 11-inning game that took nearly five hours to complete Friday after a pair of lengthy rain delays.
The Raiders scored the decisive run in the top of the 11th, when Leemarcus Boyd laid down a drag bunt down the first-base line on a safety squeeze. Boyd’s bunt single let Cody Cooper score the winning run from third base.
Braymer, a former Catholic High standout who has signed to play at Auburn, survived a rough fourth inning when Hinds scored four runs. In that inning Braymer allowed two doubles and a pair of home runs.
Despite Hinds’ barrage, LSUE maintained a 6-4 lead and never relinquished the advantage.
LSUE coach Jeff Willis said Braymer’s seven innings were important.
“I thought (Braymer) going seven innings and stretching it deep into the seventh is the key,” Willis said. “Now we have everyone available (for Saturday) except for Ben Braymer.”
Zack Hamilton relieved Braymer and pitched two innings of scoreless relief.
Hinds starter Houston Case wasn’t as successful. Case lasted just a third of an inning after allowing two hits and three runs before hitting Nick Coomes with a pitch.
The Bengals scored four in that inning; two runs scored on a single by catcher Jordan Romero.
LSUE led 5-0 after first baseman Steven Sensley singled home left fielder Cade Stone.
Hinds’ Matt Jones and Chas Lunceford both homered in the third, and another run scored on a two-out double from Marshall Boggs.
With their five-run lead cut to two in the fourth, the Bengals got busy offensively.
In the fourth, the Bengals used two walks, a hit batter and Stone’s single to add three more runs.
Willis thought that inning was significant.
“That was the key, I thought. We scored runs after (Hinds) scored,” he said. “We take pride in that, coming back with runs after someone scores on us.”
Braymer allowed his final run in the seventh when he surrendered a leadoff triple to center fielder Quade Smith. Jones’ single scored Smith.