Walks, errors cost Demons in loss at Lamar

BEAUMONT, Texas – The Northwestern State baseball team watched the tables turn Wednesday night against Lamar.

The Demons’ pitching staff issued a season-high 10 walks and NSU committed three errors, and the Cardinals bunched together enough hits to make them hurt in a 9-5 Lamar victory at Vincent-Beck Stadium.

“Any time you give up nine runs on five hits, you didn’t play very well – whether it’s on the mound or in the field, and we did a little of both,” sixth-year head coach Bobby Barbier said. “We showed good fight there at the end, but we’ve got to play better. It’s part of the game. You’ve got to come out to play every day. On top of that, when you don’t play well, you’ve got to change it right away. I’m looking forward to seeing how we come out to practice (Thursday).”

Northwestern State (15-13) won the first meeting of the season between the teams 21-7 in Natchitoches on March 15, collecting a season-high 20 hits and 12 walks.

The eight Lamar pitchers who worked Wednesday night, cut those numbers to eight and six respectively. Three of the Demons’ six walks came in a two-run ninth inning where NSU put the tying run on base with two outs despite facing a five-run deficit to start.

Bailyn Sorensen’s first career home run started the rally, and Daunte Stuart’s two-out RBI double drew the Demons within three before Daniel Cole got the final out, snapping Northwestern State’s season-long, five-game win streak.

NSU wasted a second straight quick start against Lamar as Gabe Colaianni’s two-out, bases-clearing double in the first gave the Demons a 3-0 lead.

Making his first career start, Andrew Cossio made the lead stand through two innings, allowing two runs (one earned).

Lamar (18-12) built a two-run second inning against Cossio on the strength of a walk, an error and a Matthew McDonald double. A similar situation in the fourth – including McDonald’s second double of the game – gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game.

Stuart answered with a two-out RBI single in the top of the fifth as part of a three-hit game, two-RBI game. In two games against Lamar this season, Stuart went 8-for-11 with four RBIs.

Lamar responded with a go-ahead, two-out hit of its own in the bottom of the fifth when Kirkland Banks doubled off Ethan Francis (0-1) to put the Cardinals ahead for good. Banks’ RBI double was part of a four-inning stretch in which the Cardinals scored in each at-bat.

That stretch ended when Alex Makarewich worked a scoreless eighth inning, capped by a 6-4-3 double play. Makarewich recorded the final five outs for the Demons, striking out a pair.

“He’s got electric stuff, and when he’s in the strike zone, he’s really hard to hit,” Barbier said. “He was good today, and it was something good to take out of it.”

The Demons return to action Friday night when they open a three-game Southland Conference series at Incarnate Word. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. in San Antonio.

Lamar 9, Northwestern State 6
NSU 300 010 002 – 6 8 3
LU 020 212 20x – 9 5 0

W – Trhea Morse (2-1). L – Ethan Francis (0-1). 2B – NSU, Daunte Stuart. LU, Chase Kemp, Kirkland Banks, Matthew McDonald 2. 3B – NSU, Gabe Colaianni. HR – NSU, Bailyn Sorensen (1). Highlights: NSU, Daunte Stuart 3-5, 2B, 2 RBIs; Colaianni 2-4, 3B, 3 RBIs. LU, McDonald 2-3, 2 2Bs.

Records: Northwestern State 15-13; Lamar 18-12.

PHOTO: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services